Understanding Car Accident Claims

Yes, You Have To Cramp Your Wheels

by Lois Gibson

Cramping car wheels, or turning the wheels when parking the car on a hill, is a necessary action that everyone has to take. It may seem unnecessary when you're parked on a very shallow hill, but many cities require you to cramp your wheels when parked on even a slight slope. You do have to do this. If you do not, you risk your car causing an accident—without you at the wheel.

It's a Backup for Your Brakes

Cramping your wheels is like a backup system for your brakes on a hill. Should your brakes fail, should you forget to set your brakes properly, or should something else happen to make your car move, then your car will merely bump into the curb. If your wheels are straight instead, your car could roll down the hill and hit other cars, people, or property.

You Can Be Liable for Damage

If you don't cramp your wheels, your brakes fail, and your car rolls down the hill and hits something, you're going to be liable for that damage. The logic behind that is, had your wheels been cramped properly, your car would have stopped at the curb instead of rolling away and causing damage.

Hopefully your car will come to a stop at some point and be visible to anyone driving toward it, so they can avoid it. However, if you have the wrong luck and your car ends up stopping in an area with poor visibility—and someone hits your car because they couldn't see it when they were going around a sharp curve, for example—you could be considered at fault because this all started when you didn't cramp your wheels.

But Isn't It the Car Mechanic's Fault?

If you have recently had your brakes replaced, you could try arguing that the installation was faulty, and that your brakes never should have failed. It's possible this argument could remove at least some of the liability from you, if the stars are all aligned properly for you. But it's hard to prove that you didn't simply set the brake incorrectly yourself. And, if your car moved because of a quake or because someone else hit it, that's not really the brake technician's fault.

Cramping wheels is a simple action that prevents a lot of problems. If you want to reduce your chances of getting into an accident, turn your wheels properly when parked on an incline. Otherwise, you may need to call a car accident attorney to help defend you in court.