Back-Up Accidents: How to Avoid Them
Back-up accidents are common. From crowded parking lots to city streets and neighborhood driveways, these accidents happen in a variety of locations under a variety of scenarios.
In many cases, avoiding a back-up car accident simply won’t be possible. If another driver reverses into you at speed, you may be helpless to avoid getting hit. But, there are safety tips you can follow to avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations, and there are tips you can follow to avoid accidentally backing into someone else as well.
5 Tips to Avoid Getting Backed Into
Getting backed into can be costly. While you should have access to insurance coverage, securing this coverage can prove difficult, and you could spend weeks or months going through the repair and recovery process. While it isn’t possible to protect yourself entirely, you can use the following tips to reduce your risk of being hit in a back-up accident:
1. Avoid Behind-the-Wheel Distractions
If you are distracted behind the wheel, you are far less likely to notice another vehicle reversing in your direction. Drivers should avoid distractions generally (and texting behind the wheel is illegal in Florida), but avoiding distractions can be especially important when driving in an area where other drivers may be backing up.
2. Drive Defensively
When driving in an area where other drivers may be reversing (i.e., a parking lot or neighborhood street lined with driveways), it is best to drive defensively. Slow down, look for white reversing lights, and err on the side of caution when approaching a vehicle that is in reverse.
3. Keep a Safe Distance (if Possible)
Many drivers start reversing before checking their surroundings. By giving yourself a buffer, you can give both yourself and the reversing driver time to react before the reversing driver hits you. For example:
- When driving through a parking lot, leave some buffer between your car and the row of parked cars on your passenger side.
- When parallel parking, try to center your vehicle in your parking space as best you can.
- When driving behind another vehicle on the road or in a parking lot, avoid tailgating so you have an opportunity to respond if the driver ahead of you shifts into reverse.
- Even if you have the right of way, do not assume that a reversing driver will see you in time to avoid a collision.
4. Use Your Horn
If you see a reversing driver headed your way, do not be afraid to use your horn. Getting the driver’s attention could save both of you from weeks or months of pain and aggravation.
5. Watch Out for Vehicles With Limited Visibility
While having limited visibility is not an excuse for backing into another vehicle, if you approach a vehicle with limited visibility, you can do your part to protect yourself by being cautious. For example, the following types of vehicles all have limited visibility, and drivers will frequently encounter them going in reverse:
- Delivery trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Cars parked in tight spaces
5 Tips to Avoid Causing a Back-Up Accident
So, those are some tips you can follow to reduce your risk of getting hit by a reversing driver. Now, what can you do to avoid causing a back-up accident? Here are five tips from our attorneys:
1. Check Your Surroundings
Always check your surroundings before shifting into reverse. If you know you will be reversing, examine the area around your vehicle before you get in. If you are getting ready to back up and realize you cannot see everything you need to, get out and have a quick look or ask a passenger to help guide you.
2. Check Your Blind Spots
When backing up, you should constantly be checking your blind spots. Even if the road is clear when you start reversing, other drivers might make poor decisions that force you to stop or change course.
3. Don’t Just Rely On Your Back-Up Camera
If your vehicle has a back-up camera, you should not rely on your back-up camera exclusively. Rely on your own eyes and ears, and primarily use your mirrors while using the back-up camera as an additional aid.
4. Make Sure You Can See Out Of Your Rearview Mirror
If you have stuff in your back seat, the back of your SUV or your truck bed, reposition it so that you can see out of your rearview mirror. When backing up it is important to have as much visibility as possible.
5. Go Slow
There is no reason to go fast when backing out of a parking space. Go slow—especially if your visibility is obscured by signs, plants or other vehicles—and continue to be cautious until you are safely on your way.
What If You Can’t Avoid a Back-Up Accident?
As we discussed above, even if you do everything you can to stay safe, it simply isn’t possible to avoid back-up accidents in all scenarios. Other drivers will make mistakes, and these mistakes will result in accidents in some cases. If you get hit in a back-up accident in Florida, you should:
- Stop at the scene of the accident. Collect the other driver’s insurance information and any witnesses’ contact information. Take plenty of photos of the accident scene and the damage to both vehicles.
- Call the police. Under Florida law, drivers are required to report all accidents resulting in injuries or at least $500 in estimated property damage.
- Get the help you need. If you are experiencing back pain, neck pain or any other symptoms, you should see a doctor promptly. You should also contact a lawyer for help with your insurance claim.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney About Your Back-Up Accident
If you were injured in a back-up accident in Florida and have questions about what you should do to protect yourself, we encourage you to contact a Florida car accident attorney promptly. To speak with a lawyer about your situation in confidence as soon as possible, call 800-780-8607 or tell us how we can reach you online now.