Can a driver be at fault for driving in the fast lane?

  • Yes, if her behaviour falls below the standard of what a reasonable and prudent driver would do.

In Borgjford v. Thue the crash happened on Larson Hill on the Coquihalla Highway. The highway had three lanes. A very large B-train semi was in the right lane, travelling at 25 km/h. A semi with a 53’ trailer was passing it in the middle lane. Both had 4-way hazard lights flashing. Mrs. Boizard was driving a pick-up with a camper on the back at 80-85 km/h. She decided to pass the two semi-trucks in the left lane. Mr. Thuo came from behind, travelling much faster than the speed limit. He was in the left lane, but when he saw he could not pass he quickly changed lanes to the right lane. When he saw the B-train semi ahead he chose to hit the gas and squeeze between the B-train and the semi with trailer. Mr. Thuo hit the B-train.

The judge held that Mr. Thuo was 90% at fault, and Mrs. Boizard was 10% at fault. Mrs. Boizard was at fault because a reasonable and prudent driver in her situation would have overtaken the semi as quickly as reasonably possible. A reasonable person would know that motorists often go faster than the speed limit of 110 km/h, and that so long as she was in the left lane the entire width of the highway was blocked by slow moving traffic. Mrs. Boizard’s pick up was able to go much faster, but she chose not to.

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Read the case: Borgjford v. Thue