Truck accidents happen on highways with alarming frequency. Some accidents even end in fatalities. Don't think that a truck must travel at 70 MPH on a winding road to represent a danger. Even a slow-moving truck that backs out of a driveway presents hazards. Many trucks performing deliveries in city areas find themselves pulling into and back out of alleys and driveways. They must do so carefully to avoid hitting pedestrians, people on bicycles, and others. If a truck driver backs out to the street negligently, the driver could face a civil suit.
Backing Out Onto the Sidewalk
On certain city blocks, stores may connect to one another except for gaps for alleys. Everything from trash pickups to deliveries may occur in the alleys, and such events require a truck to pull inside. Just as a driver can't recklessly pull into the alley, they can't back out with abandon. Following all reasonable steps for safety, such as driving exceptionally slow, looking at the mirrors, and looking over the shoulder, all contribute to safety. At the very least, moving like this could allow the driver to react quickly if someone darts behind the vehicle.
The Sound of Hazards
Numerous trucks come built with a "horn-style alarm" that goes off when the truck backs up. The sound sends an alert to people in its vicinity. Was the truck fit with one? If so, does the alert work properly and make a loud enough noise for people to hear it? If the horn doesn't work and no one fixed it, that could be negligence. A company's refusal to install the sound alert might also raise questions about negligence. Should the truck's owner have added the alert after a "near-miss" accident? An attorney may pose that type of question to a jury.
Delivery Partners and Civil Liability Questions
If more than one person handled the delivery, did both of them need to remain inside the truck when it backed out? One worker could get out and tell the driver if the coast is clear. On the sidewalk, the worker might send warnings to pedestrians that a truck intended to exit. Sending up a "halt" hand signal could inform the driver to stop.
When an element of negligence exists, someone could face a lawsuit, as the injured party might seek compensation. With truck accidents, the injured party may be able to file an insurance claim. No matter how things progress, anyone hurt in a truck accident may wish to speak to an attorney. Contact a truck accident attorney for more information.