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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 19690
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp. with Traffic Law issues
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in alabama can a person pull up on the right side of the car

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in alabama can a person pull up on the right side of the car in front of them in a single lane intersection to make a right hand turn?

Thank you for your question. Just to be clear are you talking about someone pulling up in a space that is not marked as a lane?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I was at a red light in a single lane road attempting to make a left turn. Unable to turn left I decided to turn right. A person had come from behind me and pulled along my right side . When I turned right I hit his front bumper. I know in NC his actions would cause him to be at fault. I do not know about alabama law. If there is such a law can I get the citation?

Hello again and thank you for that clarification. Although it is illegal to pass on the right when there is no extra lane, since that is essentially the same as passing on a shoulder (even if there is no shoulder), that does not mean that the driver on the right would be the "at fault" party in a traffic accident. In other words, the fact that someone is violating the law when they get in an accident does not necessarily mean they are the at fault driver. Their action must be the proximate cause of the accident. In addition, Alabama is one of only three states that follows the contributory negligence rule of torts.

That rule says that if a plaintiff (say for example you) was in the slightest way negligent in the accident, that this creates an absolute bar to recovery from the defendant, even if the defendant was the most to blame. In your case, that may be a problem if you did not look to see if you were clear to turn before you did. On the other hand, if the facts show that the other driver pulled up as you were already in your turn, then you would not be considered to be contributorily negligent.

As far as the right side pass, there is no clear statute per se, but if you look at the Alabama Driver Manual at about page 65, you will see where is talks about passing on the right. Should passing is illegal and as I indicated, if there is no lane, it is equivalent to shoulder passing.

Hopefully, you both have insurance and the insurance companies will determine liability according to the law and the statements of each party and the damage locations to your vehicles.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.

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