Are Trucks With These Stickers Really Not Responsible in Colorado?
Have you ever been behind a truck that has a sticker that says this?
WARNING: Stay back 200 feet. Not responsible for broken windshields!
I see one of these trucks nearly every single day on my commute and I always do keep my distance. However, this sign did get me wondering a couple of days ago, are these trucks and their drivers really not responsible if they lose something off the back of their trucks in Colorado?
While I was searching for this answer, it was apparent that I wasn't the only one who was curious. Pages upon pages of results showed up on Google. Denver 7 touched on this topic some time ago and this is what we know.
These stickers that state trucks are not responsible for broken windshields do not magically make the truck immune to liability. If something falls out of the truck, it means the load is not secure. It might be a tire, a 2x4, and even a rock. Those items, big and small, need to be secured.
Denver 7 says that the Colorado State Patrol considers incidents like this to be a crash as it involves two vehicles. The two vehicles may not have physically touched, but if an item falls out of a vehicle and damages another vehicle, it is a type of crash.
Colorado State Trooper, Josh Lewis, told Denver 7:
If something comes off or out of the vehicle and that something causes damage, that sign is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. They are still responsible and liable for that damage.
No, that sticker does not mean that the truck is not liable for damage to a vehicle if something falls out of it. Your best bet and a good practice is to give yourself plenty of room between vehicles while driving. I can only imagine how much of a pain it would be to try and fight to get your car repaired from something coming off of one of these trucks.
This is also one of the reasons why I sing the praises of a dashcam. I've had dashcams in all of my cars for years and I won't drive without one. You never know when something might happen and having actual proof is better than your word against theirs.
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