Backing up right of way law in Wisconsin generally holds that the car backing up must yield to oncoming traffic. In other words, do not back up until it is safe to do so.
A safety statute provides that the driver of a vehicle shall not back the vehicle unless the movement can be made with reasonable safety. To comply with this statute, a driver must, before he or she backs the vehicle, use ordinary care to keep a careful lookout for the presence and location of other vehicles, objects, or pedestrians that may be approaching or within the driver’s course of travel. In addition, the driver must exercise reasonable judgment in calculating the time required to reach a proper position on the highway (and the distance and speed of any vehicle seen by the driver to be approaching the driver’s course of travel).
A driver must use ordinary care to keep a careful lookout ahead and about him or her for the presence or movement of other vehicles, objects, or pedestrians that may be within or approaching the driver’s course of travel. In addition, the driver has the duty to use ordinary care to lookout for the condition of the highway ahead and for traffic signs, markers, obstructions to vision, and other things that might warn of possible danger. The failure to use ordinary care to keep a careful lookout is negligence. To satisfy this duty of lookout, the driver must use ordinary care to make observations from a point where the driver’s observations would be effective to avoid the accident. Additionally, having made the observation, the driver must then exercise reasonable judgment in calculating the position or movement of persons, vehicles, or other objects. When hazards exist because of highway conditions, volume of traffic, obstructions to view, weather, visibility, or other conditions, care must be exercised consistent with the hazards.
A person who has the duty of keeping a lookout must look with such attention and care as to see what is in plain sight. If a person looks and does not see what is in plain sight, the person did not keep a proper lookout, and the person is just as negligent as if the person did not look at all. The duty to look means to look efficiently. A person who looks and fails to see what is in plain sight is in precisely the position he or she would be in if he or she did not look at all.
McCormick Law Office attorneys have success in Milwaukee, Wisconsin fail to yield backing up right of way cases, including in shopping center parking lots with cars backing out of parking stalls.