Who's at Fault? Car Accident When Both Cars Reversing (One out of Parking Spot, The Other into a Parking Spot)


Just wondering who is at fault in this scenario (there is CCTV footage as well) on private property.

Red car was reversing into car parking space, whilst blue car was reversing out and collided into red cars rear wheel)


  1. Red car drove down ramp into basement parking area, and was reversing into Car park space 19.
  2. Blue car was parked in Space 17, and reversed out into red car (at the time was already reversing into 19).
  3. The tow bar of blue car clipped Red Car rear driver side wheel and broke the mud flaps and bolts.

Who is at fault?

Diagrams here:

  1. Before: https://ibb.co/cNn0sZQ
  2. Point of Impact: https://ibb.co/SNDJTN1

Or are both parties at fault?

Poll Options

  • 4
    Red Car at Fault
  • 130
    Blue Car at Fault
  • 62


  • +5

    Would it be the blue car? Because the blue car should be making an attempt to see if any cars were behind when reversing. In saying that, they (blue) probably couldn't see that the Red was reversing.

    You know what, this is giving me a headache 😂

    • There's a small concrete pylon (rectangle shaped in black) that blocked blue cars view, which made it tough for them to see red car while it was reversing

      • +1

        I am going to say it is both at fault. Just shit luck really.

    • +2

      Too easy
      Both REVERSING so BOTH at fault

  • on the weekend at the local shopping mall..

    an L plated car reverses out of a parking spot directly opposite an elderly man also reversing out of a parking spot at the same time.

    all i heard was the mum yelling at the old guy… "OMG you hit us"

    • -1

      This scenario is different since one is reversing into a car park space, and one is reversing out (if both were reversing out of car parking space both will be at fault according to RACQ but doesn't mention about reversing into a spot

  • +15

    Blue Car is at fault because they're entering the common area and didn't check surroundings. Why would red car be at fault?

    • +2

      I think you're right although it is tough for blue car as they might have seen the red car go past and think it was continuing on. And if they didn't see any other cars coming along the path I can see why they would have thought the coast was clear. Unlucky timing for both of them really.

      • +2

        I think blue car would have noticed the red car more easily if they had reversed in initially. The lesson for next time unfortunately.

        • +7

          Plot Twist
          Red car had been in the same situation before and now only reverses into car bays.

          • +1

            @Drakesy: Argument supporting blue is limited visibility
            And that red managed to proceed to its blind spot, stop and then reverse, blocking its way (in order to park in spot 19). All that without noticing people were in the blue car, and/or starting the engine, preparing to reverse, etc.

            Red should have been watching behind for reverse lights at least, and be ready to sound horn and stop if so.

            But red car did not see (or proceeded anyway).

            No doubt the law makes little difference (private road), and/or insurance company would split the cost 50/50 anyhow.

            • +1

              @resisting the urge: Private roads still would have normal road rule jurisdiction, similar to race tracks, if you don't follow the road rules the insurance still wants to know who contravened. In this case red technically was on the main through road/right of way, with the blue car pulling out into it.

              • @Drakesy: Would they? I think it could be argued, but am sure you can't claim fault this way in a car park scenario.

                Also, in terms of road rules… both were reversing (not stationery at the point of collision) and apparently failed to see each other.

                Plus if red was driving 'assertively' in and out of its blind spot, blue could easily claim this contributed to the collision.

                • @resisting the urge: But red (at the point of contact) was t-boned indicating that the red car was reversing safely, with the space behind it unobstructed,, it was the blue car that reversed into it per-sae.

                  • @Drakesy: It isn't just about space behind being clear, legal wording is about the 'way being clear'

                    In this instance, a towbar got in the way. In others, it could be a pedestrian's foot, a child even outside the field of view… all kinds of things

    • +2

      Yes, Blue car as it is entering active traffic area from parking space. Should have checked, seen Red car in traffic area and stopped.

        • +3


      • "- You are going forwards into a small space and reversing into a big space
        - If you use your mirrors and look around before reversing out, safety should not be an issue
        - Reversing into a park means that people exit faster from a parking space and will be less vigilant on their way out
        - loading groceries when one’s trunk was nestled up close to another vehicle can be difficult
        - Head in parking minimizes the risk of denting an adjacent parked car"

      • +3

        I agree I always reverse and park.

        Not just visibility but the wheels of the car are on the front - so it just doesn't really angle well if you want to go straight into a lot.

        • Interesting, I have wheels both front and rear.


  • +3

    Another example Why I park Front Facing ( if I were in need to park at Blue Car Spot). Kinda hard to blame anyone here. Unlucky scenerio though.

    • So you’d be the blue car in this situation?

      • +1

        Nah! I mean I would reverse park into that spot. So getting out would not cause this :)

        • +2

          The people that negged just misunderstood what you meant

  • I vote blue car is at fault. This is because the red car had to have been there already at the time of impact (and thus the blue car hit the red car's wheels). In reality, it's both who are at fault, but if I had to assign one party to shoulder the majority of the blame, it'd be the blue car. Just my $0.02.

  • The blue car is most at fault as the red car is already occupying the 'lanes' and would have the genuine right of way. Blue car failed to yield when entering the flow of traffic so would be more at fault. However this would likely be ruled a 50/50 fault as both parties failed to negotiate their maneuvers without hitting each other.

  • +1

    I'd say as red is currently occupying the through lane then the blue car would have to give way to everyone/thing prior to entering the lane. Red wouldn't necessarily be expecting anyone to enter into their lane given it's a right of way.

    So in short, sh1t luck
    but yes, blue is most at fault

  • +2

    Speaking from a similar personal experience, as soon as you tell the insurance company both cars were reversing, they will tell you both of you are at fault (no matter how much you try to explain that one was reversing in a slow, safe manner, and the other came flying out in reverse without looking).

    Now if your car had stopped completely because you saw the other car coming, I believe it is then a different story…

    • -2

      Agreed, whoever was reversing was at fault, in this case both are, so both are at fault.

  • +1

    Did anyone toot?

  • +2

    Not legal advice… but I just was in similar circumstances last year. Speak to your insurer.

    I Rang NRMA and they said both drivers at fault as you were both reversing. Because you were BOTH reversing you are not liable for other party damage, just your own damage. I had to pay the excess so NRMA could fight it on my behalf and when settled I get my excess back.
    Other party raised $9k damages claim against me, I sent notice to NRMA. 2 weeks later the case was cleared and my excess returned.
    I had no damage as I stopped when other party kept reversing and slide across a taillight protection bar.

    While speaking to NRMA I raised the question why they sent a claim for damages when insurers know this about reversing cars?
    Comment was maybe I was not insured and did not know the rules and they get paid!
    Even if I was not insured I'm still not liable - I still would not have to pay their bill but I would probably needed to have some legal advice telling them to go away citing proper codes etc.

    So call your insurer and ask questions!

  • +4

    Back in the day when I was taught to drive, you always looked out the rear window when reversing, and you continued looking out that window (as well as using your periphery vision) until you had finished reversing. Now if you're looking out the back window you should be able to see (in most instances), any other cars, people, shopping trolleys etc.

    I guess with reverse cameras, reverse sensors, cross traffic sensors etc, people just don't look out the back window anymore …

    • I was taught the same and I am still doing it.

  • +4

    Blue car at fault. It hit the side of the red car. If they hit on their respective corners because they both moved back at exactly the same time, I would say both. But by your drawing, it looks like the red car was moving first and the blue car just reversed into the side of the red car.

    • +2

      Agree. And even if the red car wasn't moving, from the description given, the red car in no way moved towards the blue car to hit them. Blue car maneuvered into red car.

  • Get a new car spot, your spot has been designed to put the owner at risk. ;)

  • Been through this one myself.
    I can GUARANTEE you the insurance company will deem BOTH at fault

  • +2

    Based on the impact as per the diagram, blue car is at fault. Clearly he was not looking before reversing. I would have said both at fault if the damage would have been at corner of both cars.

  • +2

    Really? Car is entering a road from stationary and needs to ask who should give way? What other of the 3 base road rules does OP not know and needs to come to this forum to ask?

    Come on, learn the rules then drive, not the other way around, will result in posting more questions like this one…..

  • There no Obama vote?

  • -2

    From an INSURANCE point of view
    2 moving cars on private property = each bear own damage
    Even if the one driver admits fault when they lodge their claim the insurer will likely decline to pay the other party
    There are really no 'road rules' in private car park, none that are enforceable
    No police or other 'judge' of who is at fault
    It just becomes a civil dispute and most insurers are not going to court to argue their side

  • +3

    What would make you think the BLUE car is NOT at fault?

    • -2

      My understanding is insurance companies blame the reversing driver, irrispective of "fault". So it's probably an even split.

  • +1

    Just an update.

    Blue Car has paid for damages to the red car.