For the most part, many drivers do not give a second thought to improper backing up. They should. Fines begin at around $237 and insurance rates escalate. Not only are penalties an issue, so is the harm that can befall pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, while backing onto a highway is prohibited, when it happens, a mistake can end in catastrophic results such as serious injuries and fatalities. Let’s look at improper backing up in California and the problems this behavior causes. We’ll also delve into the new technologies that are helping drivers avoid this type of accident.
David Azizi – Lawyer for Accidents with Semi-trucks in Los Angeles
L.A. Truck accident injury lawyer David Azizi has been practicing personal injury law in the city and surrounding areas for over 25 years. His compassionate service and diligence have won him many clients. It has also caught the attention of the legal ranking firm, Super Lawyers, who call him one of the top personal injury lawyers in the city.
If you are involved in an accident or a member of your family is killed due to a negligent driver, call David at (800) 991-5292 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review. David will evaluate your accident, provide you with an estimate of what your case is worth and give you the options you have moving forward. You can also reach out to David online.
What Is Improper Backing Up?
Under California Vehicle Code 22106, Californians are not able to back a vehicle up into a highway for any reason. This is a simple rule to remember. Nonetheless, many Californians do it every day. Other instances involve backing up without caution that do not involve a highway. These happen when a motorist tries to leave their parking space and backs up into parking lot traffic. This can lead to an accident, serious injuries and deaths when pedestrians are behind the vehicle.
A driver who is anxious to leave the parking lot and get on with their day may fail to look behind them carefully. When that happens, pedestrians, especially children, can be hurt. Other vehicles, such as garbage trucks often back up. Drivers of large garbage trucks are usually unable to see behind them. Since garbage trucks pick up refuse on residential as well as urban streets, walkers, as well as children, are commonly hit.
Why Is Backing Up So Difficult?
It seems like an easy maneuver to make. Put your vehicle in reverse and back up. Right? Wrong. A few situations can help in understanding the problem:
- Height of the vehicle: Pickups, SUVs and trucks are high off the ground. This makes it difficult for the driver to see children, pets, curbs or anything that is small when they back up.
- Blind spots: All vehicles have blind spots. Truck drivers, for example, are unable to see 20 feet behind them. This is problematic when they attempt to back up. Passenger vehicle drivers also have blind spots, albeit not as large as truckers do. Sometimes, not relying on rear-view or side mirrors entirely is a good idea. Twisting around and looking directly out of the rear and side windows can help. However, small objects or children will still remain unseeable in many cases.
- Driver height: Drivers who do not adjust their mirrors or make sure the seat is raised high enough can have a more difficult time.
- Bad weather: Inclement weather can make it more difficult to see behind you. This is especially true of fog, snow and heavy rains.
- Mirrors: While mirrors help back up, the range of the object from the car can be distorted. In fact, objects may seem as if they are further away than they are.
- Drivers who don’t look: Unfortunately, some drivers don’t look before they back up. This can be due to reckless or aggressive driving or distraction. Whatever the reason, a driver who does not look before backing up is guilty of negligence.
Who Is Liable in Improper Backing Up Accidents?
The question of liability in backing up accidents is fairly straightforward. But, some nuances must be considered. If a driver backs out of a parking space without looking, he or she would be liable if their vehicle hit a pedestrian or another vehicle that was passing by. Backing into the highway is not just prohibited, it is also a dangerous thing to do.
If another vehicle in the slow lane hits the vehicle backing onto the highway, it is the driver entering the highway who is at fault. However, if the vehicle in the slow lane had the option of slowing down enough to avoid an accident, there might be room to argue that the driver should have reacted proactively to the car entering his lane.
In addition, if the vehicle in the slow lane tries to avoid the collision and pulls into an adjacent lane, hitting a third vehicle and causing a collision, the driver who backed onto the highway would also be at fault, at least partially. Because this might end in a multiple-vehicle crash as several vehicles become involved, the drivers of each vehicle might share liability. The jury usually decides the percentage of liability.
What Can an Attorney Do to Help?
Your attorney can dissect the accident to determine who was liable for the damages. In simple parking lot accidents, there are tools he or she can use to document what happened. For instance, many parking lots have video cameras on lane poles. By obtaining the footage from these cameras, an attorney can visualize the accident as it happened.
In some cases, an attorney may show that the driver would have had a clear view of what was to the rear using accident reconstruction. In multiple vehicle accidents, the attorney can also use accident reconstruction techniques along with talking to witnesses. By doing this, the attorney can build up evidence to use against the at-fault driver.
New Devices Help in Avoiding Backup Accidents
There are a plethora of new devices that are available on vehicles. The most advantageous are the backup cameras that show the driver what is behind him as well as vehicles or people entering from the side. This helps in overcoming the barriers a driver typically has in seeing to the rear when backing up.
Free Case Review with Law Firm For Backing Up Truck Accidents
David is available 24/7 to help you after a pedestrian or car accident. He believes steadfastly that no one should have to suffer financial injury on top of the physical harm a negligent driver causes. His diligence and legal acumen help him win 98 percent of his cases. Call now at (800) 991-5292 to schedule a free case evaluation. If it is easier for you, use our convenient online form.