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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Is It Illegal to Drive Backwards in Iowa? | What Does It Mean?

The Iowa Department of Transportation has unique rules for drivers. Unfortunately, not everyone follows them, which can lead to fatal accidents.

A common driving maneuver people do to save time is to drive backwards. Usually, they do it because they accidentally passed the place they wanted to turn on, so instead of finding an alternative, they back up.

There are many factors to consider for vehicles backing up in the middle of the road. Understanding these rules is essential to ensure no one gets hurt while driving.

Is it illegal to drive backwards in Iowa? The state is clear enough about what people can and can't do; below is an outline explaining everything. Tom Fowler Law can also be contacted for questions such as is it illegal to drive without a catalytic converter in Iowa?

Can People Reverse When on a Highway?

Can People Reverse When on a Highway?

It's illegal for a car to reverse while on a highway. Not only is the action extremely dangerous to the driver, but it's also problematic for everyone around.

Even though some people drive their motor vehicle backward because of recklessness, others do it because of malfunctions. Sometimes, cars start to work incorrectly while on the road, so they can't go forward anymore.

Drivers may think that the sensible thing to do is to drive backward and pull over somewhere safe. However, this is also illegal if it puts other people at risk.

Driving backward isn't as simple as driving forward, as the person needs to move their steering wheel strategically. Even experienced drivers can have issues doing this maneuver while on highways.

Everyone is expected to drive the right way, so anyone starting to go the opposite route can cause trouble for other people.

What Happens If Someone Drives Backwards on the Street?

Those who drive backward on the street will have trouble controlling the car, even if they're experienced. This lack of control can lead to the driver losing focus and hitting other drivers. Another factor to consider is that Iowa laws state that doing this is illegal.

This applies whether the person is on a large road, an intersection, or any other type of road.

What about people who drive around main roads? In this case, the driver should wait until traffic slows down so that they can reverse safely. The driver must also determine whether there's enough space to reverse. Sometimes, it's safer to do a three-point turn instead.

Are There Legal Consequences for Those Who Reverse While in Traffic?

Iowa law states that drivers can't move their car backward unless (and until) it can be backed safely. Of course, trying to move the car in any backward direction on a road with heavy traffic wouldn't make sense. It would also increase the chance of an accident.

Some people think they can simply reverse if they turn their hazard lights on. Even though this may work to catch other drivers' attention, it could still cause an accident if there's too much traffic.

The only case where moving the vehicle would be "okay" is if there's no one on the road. Still, the best thing to do is to call a tow truck. This ensures the best chance of avoiding legal problems later.

Depending on how "unsafe" the maneuver was, the driver could expect some of the following consequences:

  • Paying fines

  • Getting the license suspended or revoked

  • Facing jail time

The consequences get worse if the driver causes an accident that results in physical injuries or property damage. In other words, the best way to avoid problems while driving/reversing the wrong way is not doing it at all.

What Should a Driver Do to Protect Themselves?

What Should a Driver Do to Protect Themselves?

In any case, drivers should avoid driving backward unless it's safe.

Those who have issues controlling their car while reversing should consider getting a reversing camera, which gives the driver a better view of what's behind them.

What if the car stops working? The driver's best bet is to wait until a tow truck arrives. Trying to move the car without help can lead to potential accidents and fines from the police.

These measures will go a long way in protecting other people on the road. Unfortunately, they won't prevent other drivers from doing this illegal maneuver.

In these cases, all the driver must do is get out of the other driver's way safely. Usually, reversing vehicles go slow enough, allowing other people to avoid them quickly.

What If the Other Person Causes an Accident?

Sometimes, it may be too hard to avoid a reversing vehicle, which can lead to some damage, depending on how fast the car is going.

Those who get hit because of a reversing vehicle may be entitled to compensation. If the victim can prove they were driving safely and that the other person was reversing illegally, they could get money to pay for property damage, personal injuries, and other expenses.

It's crucial to act fast in these situations, as some drivers may try to get away from the scene if they can. Drivers who get hit must get at least the other person's license plate number to file a police report.

If possible, victims should also get the other driver's contact information and insurance contact. This will make it easier to file a claim later. Of course, the other driver may argue that they weren't at fault, but if the victim has enough evidence to prove otherwise, they may have a solid case.

Calling car crash lawyers is the best way to ensure a smooth legal process. These experts can help gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and get the victims the compensation they deserve.

Not all insurance claims go smoothly, especially if the at-fault party is not admitting fault. However, a professional lawyer can build solid cases that won't be ignored that easily. They can also answer questions like is it illegal to drive with fog lights on in Iowa?

Bottom Line

Driving backward may seem harmless from most people's perspectives. However, it's crucial to think of other drivers' safety too. If the road has too much traffic, the driver will be exposing everyone to an ugly accident.

There's no reason to unnecessarily expose oneself. By following the law, drivers can expect a much lower risk of getting into legal issues.

Those who got involved in an accident because of someone else's fault, however, should seek help as soon as possible. At Tom Fowler Law, legal experts are prepared to give victims the assistance and justice they deserve.

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