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Horses on road

In Proudlove v Burridge 19/11/14  [2014] WADC 156 per Keen DCJ, P was left severely disabled after the vehicle in which he was a passenger hit a horse and left the road. The accident occurred at night on a country road where the speed limit was 110kmh. A motorist, having seen two horses on the road, stopped her car with the headlights facing oncoming traffic, put her hazard lights on and attempted to shoo the horses away. When this proved unsuccessful she tried to wave a warning to oncoming vehicles. One driver saw her and swerved but lost control of her vehicle. P alleged that D, the driver of the vehicle she was in, was negligent for failing to see the horses, the lady on the road or the lights of her vehicle. P’s claim was dismissed. D was driving within the speed limit and otherwise carefully. Whilst it was found that he was negligent for failing to see the hazards, P ultimately failed on causation. Even if D observed the hazards, braked and swerved it had not been shown that the accident could have been avoided or lessened to any appreciable extent (p569). The collision appeared to be inevitable or unavoidable. Section 5D Civil Liability Act considered.