California Motor Vehicle Code 21700 makes it illegal to drive your car or truck if it is so loaded that it interferes with your ability to drive safely.
Your car can be overloaded in several ways. You can have too many people in the car, too many packages, or a large amount of moving supplies that are obstructing your view.
If you are driving your car with so many people that you can’t move around, or see out the windows, then you have an obstructed ability to operate your vehicle safely and you can be ticketed.
The same is true if you are moving your belongings and the backseat and passenger compartment of your vehicle is so full boxes touch the ceiling of your car. If you cannot see all of your mirrors, and see out each window, then you are overloaded and may receive a ticket and fines. The fines alone will be more than it would have cost you to rent a moving van for the day.
When stacking belongings in your car or truck, you should make sure you can see out the rear window, and out all passenger side windows. You should also be able to see both the driver and passenger mirrors at all times. While you are packing your car, sit in the driver’s seat and make sure you will be able to see once all the doors on your car are closed. If you can’t see, then repack your items until you can see.
Sometimes drivers will load their vehicles with a bunch of kids and block their view of the mirrors. This is a no-no and should be avoided. If you are transporting a large number of passengers, you should take two cars or rent a van that is large enough to transport everyone safely. People move around a lot, and you cannot be sure they will get their heads out of the way in time for you to see oncoming traffic.
Overloaded vehicles cause hundreds of accidents each year. If you have been injured in an accident because someone was driving an overloaded vehicle, you may have rights under the law. Whether you were a bicyclist, a pedestrian, or the driver of an automobile, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries.
Drivers who overload their vehicles could be guilty of negligence, infliction of emotional distress, and wrongful death. They can also face criminal charges. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer such as those at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys to discuss your legal options.
To find out more on this and other traffic laws, please see the complete listing of California Motor Vehicle Codes.