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Back up when you're backing out

Wednesday, 26th Sep 2012

It pays to take extra caution when backing up with RAA claims data showing 62 per cent of all reversing accidents involve both parties going backwards.

This is a staggering statistic and can mean a major headache for everyone involved says Tony Phillips, RAA Claims Manager.

"With regards to making a claim it is fairly straight forward if one party is reversing - the reversing party is always at fault.

"It doesn't matter if you reverse into a car that was parked in the wrong spot or 'edge out' into somebody who is speeding in a car park - if you are the only party reversing you are 100 percent liable for the insurance claim.

"When both parties are reversing it is much harder to determine liability and in the absence of reliable witnesses or CCTV footage, insurance companies will generally look at 50:50 liability."

Mr Phillips says the average cost of reversing accidents is around $1400 mainly around bumper bars and side door panels and is highly influenced by the make and model of vehicle.

"Plastic bumper bars are anywhere between $300-$1,000 and then you have to look at matching paint, fitting and of course the inconvenience. For bumper repairs you're likely to be without your car for a couple of days.

"Most reversing accidents happen in car parks but reversing into parallel parks is tricky and we get a surprising number of incidents where both parties are reversing out of their respective driveways. This is obviously not good for neighbourly relations!"

RAA supports reversing technology to help reduce the likelihood of collisions but cautions that drivers still need to use mirrors, look over their shoulder and carefully consider where and how they are parked before reversing.

"All vehicles have blind spots and the best thing you can do when reversing is take the time to remember that it's a risky manoeuvre and be extra cautious," says Mr Phillips.

RAA's five most common reversing accidents

- Two cars reversing from car parks in shopping centers hitting each other
- One car reversing from a car park into a passing car
- Car reversing from car park and hitting parked car or concrete pillar (undercover parks)
- Car reversing from driveway and hitting passing car
- Cars reversing on public road/property and reverse into object (tree or post fence).

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