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Toddler On Tricycle At Fault For Car Collision (NY)

July 7, 2023

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It’s important to learn the rules of the road as early as you can; this apparently includes kids on bikes. Specifically, this case warns that if you do not teach toddlers the rules of the road you might be at fault for being hit by a car. In a recent decision in the case <em><a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/A.B.-v.-Stephanie-A.-Waring.pdf">A.B. v. Stephanie A. Waring</a></em>, Index No. 715613/18, the Second Department ruled that the defendants were not liable for striking the infant Plaintiff with the owning defendant’s car. This was due to the fact that the driving defendant had the right of way when the accident occurred and the infant Plaintiff, who was riding her bike, came out onto the road from in-front of a parked car while the driving defendant was heading in that direction. The defendant had minimal time to respond. The Second Department cited to Vehicle and Traffic Law sections 1143, which requires drivers to yield the right of way to all approaching vehicles on a road they are attempting to enter or cross, and 1231, which notes that anyone riding a bicycle is required to follow these rules as if they were driving a car.

While this makes no reference to negligence per se, this nonetheless appears to be a case where negligence per se would potentially apply as the infant Plaintiff violated two state-level statutes, even though they are likely not yet old enough to drive on their own.

The moral of this story: if you are thinking of getting your child a tricycle for the holidays this year, you MIGHT want to include a copy of the VTL with it… assuming the child can read.

Thanks to Patrick Argento for his contribution to this article.  Should you have any questions, contact <a href="mcare@wcmlaw.com">Matthew Care</a>.

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