On appeal from the Monmouth County Court of Common Pleas.
For the plaintiff-respondent, John J. Quinn and Thomas P. Doremus.
For the defendant-appellant, William J. O'Hagan.
Before Brogan, Chief Justice, and Justices Donges and Porter.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
PORTER, J. This is an automobile negligence action on appeal from a verdict for the plaintiff in the Monmouth County Court of Common Pleas.
The plaintiff was driving an automobile on West Freehold road, Freehold, toward Freehold. She was alone. The defendant was also driving an automobile on the same road in the same direction. He was also alone. The plaintiff had been driving behind the defendant for a distance estimated by her of from a mile to a mile and a half. She was traveling about forty to fifty feet behind him at a speed estimated by her at about thirty miles an hour. The defendant estimates it at about thirty to thirty-five miles an hour. The defendant made a right turn into Barkalow avenue. The plaintiff says that he suddenly slowed down and turned slightly to his left past the center line of the road and that to avoid a collision she also turned to the left without applying her brakes. She struck his car and recalls nothing more of the accident. He testifies that as he approached Barkalow avenue he glanced into his mirror which gave him a view to the rear of one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and fifty feet and seeing no vehicle he slowed down and turned slightly to the left when he was struck. He did not signal his intention to turn by extending his hand from his car. He then turned into Barkalow avenue and stopped. He found the plaintiff had collided with a tree on the West Freehold road near the scene of the collision. There were tire marks on the road apparently leading to the plaintiff's car
which were evidential of the course she had traveled. She was injured and but partially conscious. The defendant, being a physician, gave her first aid and then took her to a physician's office in Freehold.
From this summary of the testimony of the accident the questions presented are whether the defendant was shown guilty of any act of negligence which was the proximate cause of the accident. Also whether the plaintiff was guilty of any act of negligence which contributed to the accident. We conclude that there were questions raised both as to negligence and as to contributory negligence.
Did the defendant act as a reasonably prudent man should have acted under the circumstances in turning without extending his hand as a signal, did he slow down too suddenly, did he turn too far to his left, did he make proper observations to the rear through his mirror?
Did the plaintiff travel too close to the defendant's car, did she make proper observations, did she drive properly, should she have applied her brakes, was she confronted with a sudden emergency which excused her failure to apply the brakes?
These are some questions which are debatable ones of fact for the jury. There was therefore no error by the trial court in denying the ...