Car Park Height Accident - DHughesy

So I was driving Ford Transit from a hire company, went into a Tesco carpark which had a max height yellow barrier, goal post type thing. Max height said 2.5m I knew the van was around that so got out and checked the van wouldn't hit the barrier and it was fine, no trouble getting under the barrier. On exitting the carpark however I hit an overhang, you had to go down a slope and the overhang is part of the upper level of the carpark. Now there was no warning at the overhang.

Went into Tesco to ask about this and the manager said the height barrier at the entrance is higher than what is stated as the max height and that this was warning enough and I'm liable for damages.

Is this right?

Car Park Height Accident - ExA35Owner

Q1: how high is the van? Exactly? Is it under 2.5m?

Q2: on the exit slope, is the overhang avoidable?

Q3: is the overhang clearance less than 2.5m?

Q4: who is responsible for driving the van with care and appropriate skill?

The van needs to be under 2.5m for you to have any case at all; also the overhang needs to be under 2.5m; and the overhang must not be avoidable by a reasonably skilled and observant driver. As for Q4, I don't think it's the Tesco manager, I'm afraid.

Car Park Height Accident - scot22

Agree with previous post - these are the crucial questions.

Car Park Height Accident - DHughesy

A1) I was told by the hire company after the incident that the van height is 2.07m

A2) it's not avoidable, it does sticks out quite a way

A3) It must be under 2.5m if my van at 2.07m has hit it

Car Park Height Accident - RobJP

I think you need a tape measure. Measure the ACTUAL height of the van, and the same for the barrier. Confirm exactly what the barrier sign says about headroom. TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS for confirmation (just in case the sign gets changed, for example). Also take pictures of the structure of the car park where you think it is lower than it is supposed to be, and measurements of the headroom at that point.

If a barrier is supposed to be 2.5 metres (roughly 8 feet 3 inches in old money), then a 6 foot tall man would just be able to touch it with an upstretched arm. If, on the other hand it was low enough to strike a van 2.07 metres tall (6 feet 10 inches), then the same 6ft tall man would virtually be able to touch it with his upper arms 'flat' at shoulder height and just reaching with his forearms and hands.

The difference between the two heights is considerable.

However, even if the sign is incorrect, then some liability is still going to accrue to yourself. Much like people who drive into rivers while blindly following their satnavs, you are ultimately liable for your own actions.

Edited by RobJP on 18/04/2016 at 14:32

Car Park Height Accident - RT

It may be a diversion - but many car parks have barriers set/signed at 2.0m so it needs to be checked very carefully, as above.

Car Park Height Accident - Palcouk

On the stated facts, if the van cleared the entrance height restrictions, then any overhang eksewhere in the car park should have been clearly labled/warned about.

Assuming you are being charged for repairs/damage to the van, write to the local Tesco manager detailing repair costs and stating since the van passed under the height restriction you hold them liable for damage caused by low height elsewhere that wasnt marked, giveing them 28 days to pay otherwise you will issue small claims proceedings, send by recorded delivery.

Obviously you take photos of barrier and the low height exit and any T&C's displayed

Edited by Palcouk on 18/04/2016 at 15:02

Car Park Height Accident - ExA35Owner

If it's a Transit (not a Transit Connect or other smaller one) the current brochure gives the height range for the lowest versions as 2426-2490mm for front wheel drive and 2450-2542mm for rear wheel drive. The high-roof versions over 2700mm.

Car Park Height Accident - concrete
I agree with several points here. Palcouk is right. If their sign says 2.5 metres clearance then it is perfectly reasonable to expect 2.5 metres clearance everywhere beyond the barrier. QED. I think Tesco are guilty of misleading you with incorrect information and are therefore liable for the cost of damages. Stick at it and use the Small Claims Court if necessary. By-pass the branch manager and write to their HQ, recorded delivery, setting out the facts and your claim in simple terms. Keep copies of all correspondence. Give them 28 days to respond with a full settlement or you will start proceedings. Keep us informed. Good luck. Concrete
Car Park Height Accident - Falkirk Bairn

Include pictures of their signage on entering & exiting with your letter.

A van delivering wood to the house behind my house smacked my fence and the driver did not tell me. Phoned them and they are denying it was their van - I said that's fine.

I will seek advice from PC, who is s neighbour, about damage not being reported & driving off - hit & run - I am sure I will be getting a call back very soon. What does the van owner do for a living - a fencing contractor!

Car Park Height Accident - SteVee

In the original post the OP states that the obstruction is on a slope.
Whereabouts on the van did the obstruction first hit ? - was the front of the van now on level ground and so the centre now needs more clearance as it's higher from the floor due to the changes in gradient.

Car Park Height Accident - concrete

In the original post the OP states that the obstruction is on a slope.
Whereabouts on the van did the obstruction first hit ? - was the front of the van now on level ground and so the centre now needs more clearance as it's higher from the floor due to the changes in gradient.

Not really relevant SteVee. If the entrance signage states 2.5 metres clearance then there should be 2.5 metres from floor to ceiling anywhere beyond the entrance barrier, including slopes, arches, etc etc. QED.

Cheers Concrete

Car Park Height Accident - galileo

In the original post the OP states that the obstruction is on a slope.
Whereabouts on the van did the obstruction first hit ? - was the front of the van now on level ground and so the centre now needs more clearance as it's higher from the floor due to the changes in gradient.

Not really relevant SteVee. If the entrance signage states 2.5 metres clearance then there should be 2.5 metres from floor to ceiling anywhere beyond the entrance barrier, including slopes, arches, etc etc. QED.

Cheers Concrete

I think SteVee's point is that with the rear elevated on the slope, more than 2.5 metres is needed to ensure clearance for the centre of a 2.5 metre high van above the point of gradient change.

Car Park Height Accident - ExA35Owner

The OP still hasn't told us what the measured heights of the van, barrier and overhang are. His figure for the van is almost certainly wrong.

Car Park Height Accident - concrete

In the original post the OP states that the obstruction is on a slope.
Whereabouts on the van did the obstruction first hit ? - was the front of the van now on level ground and so the centre now needs more clearance as it's higher from the floor due to the changes in gradient.

Not really relevant SteVee. If the entrance signage states 2.5 metres clearance then there should be 2.5 metres from floor to ceiling anywhere beyond the entrance barrier, including slopes, arches, etc etc. QED.

Cheers Concrete

I think SteVee's point is that with the rear elevated on the slope, more than 2.5 metres is needed to ensure clearance for the centre of a 2.5 metre high van above the point of gradient change.

I appreciate that galileo, but I repeat; if the entrance sinage indicates that there is 2.5 metres clearance beyond the barrier, then it is reasonable to expect 2.5 metres clearance irrespective of whether there is a slope, an archway etc etc. 2.5 metres is very, very clear and should mean that is the clearance from floor level to ceiling height throughout the area beyond the entrance. If the clearance is reduced because of a slope or other obstruction then the clearance sign should state a lower clearance height.

Cheers Concrete

Car Park Height Accident - galileo

If the clearance is reduced because of a slope or other obstruction then the clearance sign should state a lower clearance height.

Absolutely, Concrete, but the effective clearance will depend on the length of the vehicle and position of wheelbase, so not easy to specify unless worst case (long, high vehicle) is tested.

Its a similar case to whether the overhang at front/rear of a coach will ground on a ramp.

Car Park Height Accident - concrete

If the clearance is reduced because of a slope or other obstruction then the clearance sign should state a lower clearance height.

Absolutely, Concrete, but the effective clearance will depend on the length of the vehicle and position of wheelbase, so not easy to specify unless worst case (long, high vehicle) is tested.

Its a similar case to whether the overhang at front/rear of a coach will ground on a ramp.

Agreed, the longer the vehicle the more the slope can encroach. I would think that a Tesco car park would not allow in such vehicles though but we never know. These things are not always thought through properly. Cheers Concrete

Car Park Height Accident - DHughesy

So just thought you might want an update, Tesco have investigated that the sign at the car park entrance is wrong and that they are paying for the damages to the van!

:D

Car Park Height Accident - alan1302

Excellent result - thanks for letting us know

Car Park Height Accident - concrete

Well done Hughesy. As I thought, 2.5 metres should mean exactly that, 2.5 clearance throughout. Good news. Also Tesco have done the right thing too, so many would have been very reluctant to admit anything, no matter how obvious. Cheers Concrete

Car Park Height Accident - Willo93

Hi all,

I had a similar issue a few weekend back. I was driving a discovery 4 and caught the sharkfin on a protruding steel triangular sign on the above level when exiting the multi storey car park which was positioned just above where the slope began. This caused quite extensive damage as ripped the sharkfin off along with cracking the panoramic window that it was fixed to worth a fair amount therefore I am after sticking it to them.

On entry I entered the car park gingerly without hitting the heigh restrictor( which was close so i slowed down to check I was okay) got in fine and avioded any obvious signs coming down from the roof as I was cautious. Park the car, all fine over the weekend. On exiting I could not avoid the sign and it was barely visible on exit I caught it (no signage to indicate any drop in roof level) this barrier was 1.927mm from ground level and with the long wheelbase and high rear of the discovery it hit the sign.

On inspection and measuring the height restrictions at the entry point, they stated a restriction of 1.850m. The overall Landrover height with the sharkfin is 1.938 however I had it in low mode which reduces it by 50mm to 1.887. I understand this is still over however I used the height restriction as an indication on entry to see if i would fit in without hitting which i successfully did, and on inspection it turned out because other had hit the sign on the way in it had been bent up to a height of 1.916m (66mm) above what stated meaning i entered without a problem.

The company are claiming the height restrictor is just a guide and you should go by the actual height stated, but who really knows what the height is, you see by the barrier. How do you guys think I stand with this one?

To add to this, on further inspection of the car park, other similar barriers were positioned with a height of 1.829 which is far lower than stated on the entry point. (which were unfortunately not barriers I hit or this may be a little more simple)

Am i at fault for entering the car park without checking the actual height of the car?

Or are they at fault for not maintaining their height barriers and having signs throughout lower than what they stated?

I look forward to your responses,

Will

Car Park Height Accident - Bromptonaut

Am i at fault for entering the car park without checking the actual height of the car?

Yes. Looks like a claim on your own insurance for 'at fault' damage. Report it to your insurer and see what advice they have on liability of operator.

If you drive a 'high' car then you really need to know it's exact height including bars, fixed aerials etc. Our Mk3 Berlingo is 1.87m. MrsB made a laminated card with that infor + width recorded. It's OK most places but has to go with coaches etc on Chunnel.

Car Park Height Accident - Willo93
I understand, however the height restricting bar should accurately represent the height restriction and act as a fail safe to stop any serious damage to the car.

On the evening the car park manager said they did not have the man power or time to maintain these barriers. I think this is a case of misrepresentation. They also said if you did not hit the barrier on the way in it's my fault however if I did hit the barrier on the way in it it my fault.(I didn't hit the barrier)

Does anyone have any details regarding the legal installation of the height barriers and what the represent?
Car Park Height Accident - RobJP

On inspection and measuring the height restrictions at the entry point, they stated a restriction of 1.850m. The overall Landrover height with the sharkfin is 1.938 however I had it in low mode which reduces it by 50mm to 1.887.

You are liable. The car park has zero liability.

Suck up the bill yourself, or claim on your insurance.

Car Park Height Accident - Willo93
Yes seems that way, unless I have a case that the height restriction barrier should accurately respreaent the height restriction. Then they are at fault
Car Park Height Accident - RT
On inspection and measuring the height restrictions at the entry point, they stated a restriction of 1.850m. The overall Landrover height with the sharkfin is 1.938 however I had it in low mode which reduces it by 50mm to 1.887.

I don't see you have a leg to stand on - as your vehicle exceeded a stated restriction.

Car Park Height Accident - gordonbennet

Something that should also been borne in mind is rear overhang, if for example you are going from a level onto a down ramp, just as the rear tyres clear the peak of the ramp the height of the rear extremity of the roof will have gone up, possibly by several inches and worse still if you have an speed at all due to suspension dive/bounce, longer the rear overhang worse the problem.

Good idea as above to measure accurately the height and then add a suitable amount for safety.

Car Park Height Accident - Willo93
Very true, however unfortunately these height restrictions do not take this into account, these signs around the car park were below the restriction height so I'm surprised they have not had this situation before!
Car Park Height Accident - RobJP

The signs told you a maximum height.

You entered the car park with a vehicle taller than that.

Your vehicle was damaged.

Take some responsibility for your negligence.

Car Park Height Accident - RT

Height restrictions aren't required to have height detectors - accurate signage is all that's required.

Car Park Height Accident - Bromptonaut

The height restriction is 1.85m. You were driving a vehicle which was considerably higher and the item that caught you was higher still.

There was a height barrier at the entrance It's purpose is to wake up the driver of an egregiously overheight vehicle and prevent it damaging the structure. It's not meant to help somebody who reads the restriction but thinks that if they can limbo under the barrier by a fraction then the compo-fairy will still look after them when it goes pear shaped.

You, or your insurer, are paying for this one.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 22/03/2017 at 16:04

Car Park Height Accident - concrete

Have to agree with others here, you knew full well the height of your vehicle and the stated height of the maximum clearance of the car park beyond the barrier. The only reason you could try to claim against them is that the entry barrier allowed your vehicle in without touching it. I would have thought they should have a soft padded swinging bar, which if you touch it and move it, it would not damage your vehicle but allow you to see the moving bar, turn around and exit the car park. That I think is your only chance to make a claim if you really want to pursue this. It also depend upon who owns or operates the car park. You may have a chance with a supermarket aho don't want bad publicity.

Cheers Concrete

Car Park Height Accident - A Driver since 1988, HGV 2006

Hello one and all,

Questions posted are mostly irrelevant, If there was a height indicated in the driving area that is legally binding for the driver, esp so if it is the one put there by the vehicle manufacturer as opposed to the ones you can buy yourself.

So if the indicated height of barrier is lower then the height in the cab then you are 100% liable for damages caused, if signage said you can go under and its the wrong height then the company is liable.

They sometimes put a height lower then the entrance because the exit is lower, bottom line is if you ignore signage then its your fault and not the companies.

 

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