Collision, advice please

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  Thread Started By:   mikeyboy123   On:   Friday 06/10/2017 @ 12:44 Show Newest First    
Posts: 222
  #1  Collision, advice please  Posted 06/10/2017 @ 12:44
Hey all,

Was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction for some on-line resources about piste rules, particularly in France.

I have had a look and am struggling to find what I need, so would be grateful if anyone can give me some steer.

Basically, I was involved in a collision in Chatel in March. In June I was contacted by the other person's insurance co asking me for a statement of facts and my insurance details, which I duly gave (denying any liability) with my insurer's approval. The insurance company for the other person have now contacted my insurance co, although I do not know the exact details as I’ve not seen the letter yet.

I feel very strongly that I was not at fault and I am particularly interested in finding out more about any rules governing areas where a side run joins a main piste.

Keeping things as brief as possible, I was on a small side run and joined a main piste from the left. I was going slowly and stuck hard to the left hand side. Someone already on the main piste and coming from higher up and at speed pulled a sharp left hand turn and came to a hard stop facing uphill about two feet in front of me. I had no time to react and went into them and my helmet mashed up their face.

Anyone know if there are any guidelines/rules governing a piste junction of this type? I realise that there is an obligation on anyone joining a main piste from a side run to exercise caution and stay to the side, and that is exactly what I did. But I would have also thought that anyone already on the main piste should refrain from performing such erratic manoeuvres at speed in an area directly in front of where a side piste joins a main piste. Am I right in that assumption?

Grateful for any advice.
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  #2  Re: Collision, advice please  Posted 06/10/2017 @ 13:15
In reply to post #1...
Tricky. So anyone lower down the terrain than yourself has priority over you, so you have to look out for them and avoid them, be safe etc..

- So from your point of view, the other party came down fast from behind you and may not have been in control, and stopped suddenly in front of you. So they are at fault for acting as if on an olympic piste, yet being on a public run (See the lift pass terms & conditions - knowing the piste rating colour may help you.. if it was a green or blue, they are clearly in a bit of trouble).
Why could they not have made a turn and gone to their skiiers right etc..

- From their point of view, they were lower down the hill than you at the point when they stopped, so you're at fault for not avoiding them.
However personally I would question how dangerous you could possibly be, if you'd just come of out of a side piste and were going slowly ...

....but how "fast" were you actually going in order to mess up their face on impact?

Personally I've seen and had plenty of near misses over the years from these kinds of events where one party is flying down a fast piste and finding people sat down just behind a lip/roller/corner, or coming out from a forest side track that wasn't very visibly marked up.

I wish you good luck, because it's very much a case of having to have been there to know who's really at fault .... I wasn't there so I can't say, the insurance company has to decide that one.

As snowcrazy says: 'I hate pistes ..... that's where the people are'
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  #3  Re: Collision, advice please  Posted 06/10/2017 @ 13:50
In reply to post #2...
Yes, these things are tricky. I was in the downhill position until about a second before impact. She overtook me by a metre or two, maybe 5 metres or so to my right and then pulled a sharp left turn at speed directly into my path.

I can't recall, but from memory I would say it was a red piste. I wouldn't say she was out of control. She may not have been aware that there was a trail joining there, and must just not have seen me.

I wasn't going fast at all. I had been on the piste for maybe ten meters and it was pretty flat where I joined. I weigh probably just over 100kg with all my gear on and I don't think it takes much speed for a large round hard bit of plastic backed by 100kg to cause damage.

It's annoying because I've done nothing wrong. Ironically, if I had just scooted out right into the middle of the piste, there probably wouldn't have been a collision, but I stayed to the side and she's just made a beeline for me like a missile.

If anyone can point me to an on-line resource of French piste rules then that would be great.
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  #4  Re: Collision, advice please  Posted 06/10/2017 @ 15:26
In reply to post #3...
You might be able to request a copy of the terms and conditions of the PDS lift pass / rules of the road for riders/skiiers here:
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  #5  Re: Collision, advice please  Posted 06/10/2017 @ 16:42
In reply to post #4...
Good idea, thanks.
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UK - England
  #6  Re: Collision, advice please  Posted 06/10/2017 @ 20:49
In reply to post #5...
I think "the rules" (the FIS rules) don't really help in that they're rather like those on the road in the UK - they are great principles but there are lots of situations which are much more complicated.

If you hit someone below you, then a simplistic interpretation of "the rules" would suggest it's probably your fault. However UK law at least isn't "simplistic", it's supposed to be "reasonable". So if someone passes you and then immediately crosses your path and you run them over.... well that, in my non-professional opinion, is rather different.

If it's their insurance versus yours, then I'm not sure you can do much and they will simply settle.

If it was me, and I don't insure, then I'd think hard about what they are claiming and why.
Do they have any witnesses? If they came from behind and ended up in front... well that sounds like they lost control behind, and ended up in front, in your path. "The rules" may suggest that they're able to do precisely that, it's not reasonable to do that and to expect to escape unscathed: it's a stupid thing to do, as described.

That interpretation seems unlikely to put you entirely at fault - in what way, precisely, were you supposed to know the other person was going to cut in front of you? The definition of who is "below" is dependent upon where you start timing the sequence. Perhaps you could argue that the sequence started when the other person decided to overtake and then cut in: their lack of control put them in your path and gave you no room to manoeuvre.

In the real world, at a piste junction, unless you have video and unless there's multiple independent witnesses saying one of you was insane, then I would expect you'd end up "knock for knock".
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  #7  Re: Collision, advice please  Posted 07/10/2017 @ 11:47
In reply to post #6...
I think you’ve summed it up quite nicely there Phil.

There was one independent witness and she is contactable as I have her number. When I asked for it she said she didn’t think I had anything to worry about which I took to mean that she didn’t think I was at fault.

But I think you are probably right and that my insurers will end up making a contribution whatever happens.
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