At the close of plaintiff’s evidence and at the conclusion of all the evidence, the defendants in the court below made motions for judgment as in case, of nonsuit. C. S., 567. The court below refused the motions and in this we can see no error.
The evidence which makes for plaintiff’s claim, or tends to support her cause of action, is to be taken in its most favorable light for plaintiff, and she is entitled to the benefit of every reasonable intendment upon the evidence, and every reasonable inference to be drawn therefrom. We see no error in the court’s refusal to give defendants’ prayer for instruction.
*141 First issue: As to the negligence of defendants. Plaintiff’s evidence principally from a disinterested witness, Dennis Cobb, was to the effect that defendants’ driver was driving the truck with trailer, the truck was going “better than 35; around 40, the best of my estimation.” It was in evidence that the road was straight for about a half mile. The truck struck the Plymouth automobile which plaintiff’s intestate’s driver was driving, in the rear. The automobile had on it the rear lights required by the statute. The speed of the truck did not change, the impact was with such force that “it kind of got up on top of the back wheels of the car and mashed the whole back end of the car in. . . . When the truck struck the car it knocked it straight on down the road about 28 steps” (about 84 feet). The driver of the truck made no effort to turn to the left. “No car (in the opposite direction) was coming down the road from the direction of Edenton at the time or before the collision.” The defendant’s death car struck plaintiff’s intestate’s car some 50 yards or more below two brightly-lighted filling stations- — one on each side of the road. “After the car had stopped I looked back and saw the truck. The truck had a trailer. ... I could not see any change in the speed of the truck from the time I first saw it until it struck the car.” Defendants’ driver testified that he was running about 25 miles an hour. The type of truck and semi-trailer that he was driving, with no load, could be stopped within approximately 25 feet.
N. C. Code 1935 (Michie), section 2621 (45), 1937 Suppl., sec. 2621 (287), is as follows: “Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, or without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property, shall be guilty of reckless driving and upon conviction shall be punished as provided in sec. 2621 (102).”
Section 2621 (46); 1937 Suppl., sec. 2621 (288) : “(a) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing ... 3. Thirty-five miles per hour for motor vehicles designed, equipped for, or engaged in transporting property, and thirty miles per hour for such vehicle to which a trailer is attached.”
1937 Suppl., sec. 2621 (273), “Brakes”: “(a) Every motor vehicle when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop such vehicle or vehicles, and such brakes shall be maintained in good working order and shall conform to regulations provided in this section.”
*142N. 0. Code, supra, sec. 2621 (91) ; 1937 Suppl., sec. 2621 (280) : “(a) The bead lamps of any motor vehicle shall be so constructed, arranged and adjusted that, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, they will at all times mentioned in sec. 2621 (89) and under normal atmospheric conditions and on a level road produce a driving light sufficient to render clearly discernible a person two hundred feet ahead, but shall not project a glaring or dazzling light to persons in front of such head lamp, etc.”
From the charge of the court below on this aspect no exception is taken except to the last portion (which is not considered in defendants’ brief), as follows: “They say and contend, further, gentlemen of the jury, that their driver was confronted by a sudden emergency which was caused, as.they say, and contend, by the negligence of Mr. New-bern’s driver, and that in such case the law does not hold a man, and did not hold their driver, to as high a standard of care as in other cases, and the court charges you that is so, that that is the law in this State. That if the defendants’ driver, on this occasion, was confronted by a sudden emergency, which was caused by the negligence of the plaintiff’s driver, then our law does not hold the defendants’ driver to such a high standard of care as it would in other cases. And so they say and contend that upon the evidence in this ease it is your duty to answer that first issue No.’ ” We think the charge complained of, on the evidence, favorable to defendants. Poplin v. Adickes, 203 N. C., 726.
In Powers v. Sternberg, 213 N. C., 41 (43) is the following: “There are a few physical facts which speak louder than some of the witnesses. The force with which the Bedenbaugh car ran into the truck, with its attendant destruction and death, establishes the negligence of the driver of the car as the proximate cause of the injury,” citing authorities.
Second issue: As to the contributory negligence of plaintiff’s intestate. Plaintiff’s evidence on this aspect is to the effect that the deceased W. B. Newbern asked his driver, Junius Best, to stop, after they had passed the forks of the road. He had been asleep and had just awakened and asked the driver to stop and let him see where they were. The driver stopped. “I held my hand down as a signal in this angle (indicating), (1937 Suppl., supra, sec. 2621 , [b]), then I stopped.” The driver testified that he looked back in the direction from which he had come and could not see anything, so started to back. The road was straight for a half mile. He was on the right-hand side of the road, the right-hand wheel about two feet off the concrete when he stopped. The rear lights were burning. “I had not quite started to back my car at the time the truck struck me, just started to release my clutch.” There was no car meeting the driver of the truck coming from the *143direction of (Edenton) the Chowan Bridge. “I was around 200 feet down the highway from the filling station.” “I gave the signal to stop and looked back. There was no car between me and the filling station when I looked back. It was about two or three minutes from the time I stopped my car and started to back before I was hit.” The two filling stations, one on each side of the road, were brightly lighted.
Dennis Cobb testified that the driver of the car had backed 10 or 15 feet and was coming back “just about as slow as a ear could go and be in motion.” The car could have been stopped “pretty near instantly, 5 or 10 feet.”
The defendants contended that the plaintiff’s intestate’s driver was violating the following motor vehicle laws of our State: N. C. Code, sec. 2621 (45) ; 1937 Suppl., sec. 2621 (287), supra.
1937 Suppl., supra, sec. 2621 (301) : “(a) The driver of any vehicle upon a highway before starting, stopping or turning from a direct line shall first see that such movement can be made in safety, and if any pedestrian may be affected by such movement shall give a clearly audible signal by sounding the horn, and whenever the operation of any other vehicle may be affected by such movement shall give a signal as required in this section, plainly visible to the driver of such other vehicle, of the intention to make such movement, (b) . . . Whenever the signal is given the driver shall indicate his "intention to start, stop, or turn by extending the hand and arm from and beyond the left side of the vehicle as hereinafter set forth. Left turn — hand and arm horizontal, forefinger pointing; Right turn — hand and arm pointed upward; Stop— hand and arm pointed downward. All signals to be given from left side of vehicle during last fifty feet traveled.”
Section 2621 (278) provides, in part, that every motor vehicle shall carry at the rear a lamp of the type which has been approved by the Commission and which exhibits a red light, plainly visible, under normal atmospheric conditions, 500 feet to the rear of such vehicle.
Section 2621 (293) provides that upon all highways of sufficient width except one-way streets, the driver of a motor vehicle shall drive the same upon the right half of the highway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle, subject to the limitations applicable as set forth in this statute.
The court below, on the aspect of contributory negligence, charged the jury: “The court charges you that if the defendants have satisfied you from the evidence, and by its greater weight, that on the occasion in question, the driver of the Newbern car, the one in which Mr. New-bern was riding at the time, violated any of these statutes, which they say and contend he violated, then by that violation, gentlemen of the. *144jury, be would be guilty of negligence per se, and if tbe defendants have further satisfied you from tbe evidence and by its greater weight that such negligence, in either of tbe aspects claimed and contended by them, was tbe proximate cause of tbe injury and death of W. B. Newbern, then, gentlemen of the jury, it would be your duty to answer this second issue ‘Yes.’ But, if the defendants bave failed to so satisfy you from this evidence, and by its greater weight, that plaintiff’s intestate’s driver_ violated any one of these statutes, which they say and contend he violated, or if they have failed to satisfy you from the evidence and by its greater weight that such violation was the proximate cause, or one of the proximate causes of the injury and death of plaintiff’s intestate, then, gentlemen of the jury, it would be your duty to answer that issue No.’ Or, if the evidence, upon that issue, or either of the elements thereof, is equally balanced so that you cannot tell whether the defendants’ evidence, or the plaintiff’s evidence, outweighs, then it would be your duty to answer that issue, No.’ ” On this issue there is no exception made to the charge of the court below.
Third issue: As to the doctrine of last clear chance. We think the evidence plenary for the court below to have submitted this issue.
In Michie’s “The Law of Automobiles in North Carolina,” sec. 31, p. 73, it is said: “The essential principle underlying the doctrine is that, although tbe plaintiff has been negligent in exposing himself to peril, and although his negligence may have continued until the accident happened, be may nevertheless recover if the defendant, after knowing of plaintiff’s danger and having reason to suppose that he may not save himself, could have avoided the injury by the exercise of ordinary care, and failed to do so, and vice versa. The party who last has a clear opportunity of avoiding the accident, notwithstanding the negligence of his opponent, is considered solely responsible. In such a case the contributory negligence of the plaintiff is not a defense or bar to a recovery by plaintiff.”
In Claris v. R. R., 109 N. C., 430 (449-450), we find: “It makes no difference how short an interval occurs between the negligent act of the plaintiff and that of the defendant, if the latter had time to discover the danger and avert it by the exercise of ordinary care. 4 Am. & Eng. Enc., p. 27; Needham v. R. R., supra (37 Cal., 407); Trow v. R. R., 24 Vt., 494. . . . There are two divergent lines of authority upon this subject, but the position assumed by counsel for the defendant finds no support in the decisions of those courts that have, like this, adhered closely to the doctrine of Davies v. Mann, 10 M. & W., 545. The negligence of the plaintiff in our case consisted in going upon the trestle when an approaching train was in sight, as it could have been seen a *145mile. But if, after be went upon tbe trestle, tbe defendant company’s servant could, by proper watchfulness, bave discovered bis danger in time to avert it without jeopardy to tbe persons or property on defendant’s train, and neglected to do so, tbe negligence of tbe two was not concurrent nor contemporaneous. That of tbe defendant was so far subsequent to tbe plaintiff’s wrongful act as to give time to tbe servant of the former to bave discovered tbe danger,, and averted tbe injury by tbe proper use of tbe means at bis command. 2 Thompson Neg., 1157; Wharton Neg., 343, 346, 388.”
Tbe case of Sherlin v. R. R., 214 N. C., 221, is not contrary to tbe Ciarle case, supra. In that case, at p. 223, it is stated: “All tbe evidence shows that tbe intestate stepped upon tbe trestle when tbe train was approaching and undertook to run across before the train reached there, and failed. Tbe evidence shows that tbe trestle was not of tbe open type in tbe reported case, but it was floored and surfaced with cleats. Outside tbe ends of tbe crossties there was sufficient space for a person to walk or stand there in safety as the train passed.” (Italics ours.)
In Pickett v. R. R., 117 N. C., 616 (637), we find: “If it is tbe settled law of North Carolina (as we bave shown) that it is tbe duty of an engineer on a moving train to maintain a reasonably vigilant outlook along tbe track in bis front, then tbe failure to do so is an omission of a legal duty. If by tbe performance of that duty an accident might bave been averted, notwithstanding the previous negligence of another, then, under the doctrine of Davies v. Mann (10 M. & W. [Ex.], 545), and Gunter v. Wicker (85 N. C., 310), tbe breach of duty was tbe proximate cause of any injury growing out of such accident, and where it is a proximate cause tbe company is liable to respond in damages. Having adopted tbe principle that one whose duty it is to see does see, we must follow it to its logical results.”
In Norman v. R. R., 167 N. C., 533 (538-9), Walker, J., for tbe Court, said: “If tbe motorman, W. N. Turner, saw tbe plaintiff’s car on tbe western track in front of bis car, which was on tbe same track, and also knew that plaintiff, being forgetful of bis duty and inattentive to bis surroundings, was not aware of tbe approach of tbe car, and, on that account, was making no effort to leave tbe track, and this knowledge came to him in time to prevent tbe collision, and be knew that a collision would occur if plaintiff did not leave tbe track in time to prevent it, unless tbe street car was itself stopped before reaching tbe automobile, it was bis plain duty, according to our decisions, as soon as a collision became probable, to slow down and bring bis car under control, so that be could stop, in order to prevent tbe catastrophe which would inevitably happen if be proceeded on bis way and plaintiff did not move *146Ms automobile away from the track. If tbe motorman saw that the plaintiff had evidently not looked and listened, and had not heeded his signal, if he gave one, and was, therefore, unconscious of his danger and not likely to leave the track, it was incumbent on him to take reasonable precaution for his safety; and as he had the better opportunity of so acting as to prevent the collision, he is adjudged by the law, under the circumstances, to have had the last clear chance of averting the injury, and the defendant, therefore, is the reasonable author of it. A person on foot or in a vehicle has no right to cross a street in front of an approaching street car and take the doubtful chance of his ability to cross in safety; if a prudent man would not do such a thing under similar circumstances; and if he does so, and is injured by his own carelessness, the fault is all his, and he cannot hold the company to any liability therefor. But the case we have is quite different, as here the plaintiff was seen by the conductor when backing, at a crossing, towards the western track on which the car was moving; he was oblivious of his dangerous surroundings, which might have been seen by the motorman, if he was keeping a proper lookout, and he testified that he was doing so. It would seem to be just and humane to hold that, if such were the situation, and the jury afterwards found it to be so, the defendant should be held responsible, as having the superior chance to avoid the injury, though the plaintiff was also negligent, and grossly so. Such, anyhow, is our law.”
In Caudle v. R. R., 202 N. C., 404 (401), is the following: “In Redmon v. R. R., 195 N. C., at p. 766 (Brogden, J.), we find the following: ‘The last clear chance doctrine is the duty imposed by the humanity of the law upon a party to exercise ordinary care in avoiding injury to another who has negligently placed himself in a situation of danger. The doctrine is said to have sprung from the celebrated case of Davies v. Mann, 10 M. & W., 546, decided in 1842, and commonly known as the hobbled ass case. An excerpt from that case is as follows: “The defendant has not denied that the ass was lawfully in the highway, and therefore we must assume it to have been lawfully there; but even were it otherwise, it would have made no difference, for as the defendant might, by proper care, have avoided injuring the animal, and did not, he is liable for the consequences of his negligence, though the animal may have been improperly there.” Deans v. R. R., 107 N. C., 686; Casada v. Ford, 189 N. C., 744; Hudson v. R. R., 190 N. C., 116; Hart v. R. R., 193 N. C., 317; Buchner v. R. R., 194 N. C., 104; Redmon v. R. R., supra (at p. 769).’ ”
In Morris v. Transportation Co., 208 N. C., 807 (811), speaking to the subject, we find: “The principle announced has been clearly stated *147by Stacy, J., in Haynes v. R. R., 182 N. C., 679, 110 S. E., 56, as follows: ‘It bas been beld nniformly witb us that, notwithstanding the plaintiff’s contributory negligence, if the jury should find from the evidence that the defendant, by the exercise of ordinary and reasonable care, could have avoided the injury, and failed to do so, and had the last clear chance to so avoid it, then the defendant would be liable in damages.’ To the same effect is the utterance of Brown, J., in Cullifer v. R. R., 168 N. C., 309, 84 S. E., 400: ‘It is well settled in this State that where the plaintiff is guilty of contributory negligence the defendant must exercise ordinary care and diligence to avoid the consequences of the plaintiff’s negligence, and if by exercising due care and diligence the defendant can discover the situation of the plaintiff in time to avoid injury, the defendant is liable if it fails to do so.’ Gunter v. Wicker, 85 N. C., 310; Wheeler v. Gibbon, 126 N. C., 811; Ray v. R. R., 141 N. C., 84; Casada v. Ford, 189 N. C., 744; Caudle v. R. R., 202 N. C., 404.”
In Arnold v. Owens, 78 Fed. (2d), 495, 498, the Court said: “It is of course true that the plaintiff would not have been injured had she not been walking unlawfully on the wrong side of the road; but, even if this conduct be considered negligence per se, it does not follow that the truck driver could run her down with impunity, for, if he saw that she was in a position of danger, and by the exercise of ordinary care could have avoided the accident, it was his duty to do so. He had, in such event, ‘the last clear chance,’ and should have taken it. The Supreme Court approved this doctrine in the following language in Grand Trunk Ry. Co. v. Ives, 144 U. S., 408, 429, 12 S. Ct., 679, 687, 36 L. Ed., 485: ‘Although the defendant’s negligence may have been the primary cause of the injury complained of, yet an action for such injury cannot be maintained if the proximate and immediate cause of the injury can be traced to the want of ordinary care and caution in the person injured; subject to this qualification, which has grown up in recent years (having first been enunciated in Davies v. Mann, 10 M. & W., 546), that the contributory negligence of the party injured will not defeat the action if it be shown that the defendant might, by the exercise of reasonable care and prudence, have avoided the consequences of the injured party’s negligence.’ ” And in the same case, at page 499, the Court said: “As a further qualification upon the driver’s duty to look out for persons upon the road ahead of him, the defendant invokes the general rule that one is not under a duty of anticipating negligence on the part of others, and, in the absence of anything which should give notice to the contrary, he is entitled to act upon the assumption that others will exercise ordinary care for their own safety. Shirley v. *148 Ayers, 201 N. C., 51, 53, 54, 158 S. E., 840. So it is argued that the driver of the truck, even if he saw the plaintiff walking ahead of him on the shoulder of the road, was entitled to assume that she would turn aside to the right and reach a place of safety before the truck overtook her. But this statement of the situation ignores the important qualification in the rule that a person driving upon the highway has no right to persist in his right of way when he realizes that another person whom he is approaching or overtaking, cannot conform to the rule of the road or is unconscious of his danger. Standard Oil Co. v. McDaniel, 42 App. D. C., 19, 280 F., 993; Huddy, Encyc. of Auto Law, Vols. 3-4, sec. 116.”
The testimony of the driver of defendants’ truck was that he saw the car when he passed the Midway Filling Station, at which time he says it was backing. “I was a good little ways from it when I first saw it.” He estimates this distance at 100 yards, while Dennis Cobb puts it close to 50 yards, and Junius Best at 200 feet. It thus appears that after observing the car in a slow backward motion, the driver of the truck had a distance of from 50 yards to 100 yards in which to swing his truck to the left side of the road, or to stop it by the due application of brakes. The truck driver (Holley) by his own evidence indicated that at the time he was fully conscious of the peril attending those riding in the car of plaintiff’s intestate.
In Smith v. Gould (110, W. Va., 579), 92 A. L. R., p. 28, it is held (1st headnote) : “The last clear chance doctrine is properly extended to a case where an automobilist, by reason of failure by him in his plain duty to maintain a lookout for the persons and property of others on the highway, commensurate with the danger indicated by attendant facts and surrounding circumstances known to him, and which are such as to have put him on the alert, causes injury to another (though such other was himself concurrently negligent), where the peril could have been seen and comprehended by the automobilist and the injury avoided in the exercise of reasonable care commensurate with the situation. Such case constitutes an exception to the general rule which precludes recovery by a plaintiff whose negligence has concurred with the defendant’s.”
On this aspect the court below charged the jury, in which we see no error: “In order for this doctrine to be available to the plaintiff, upon whom is the burden of proof as to this issue, you must find from the evidence, the burden of proof being upon the plaintiff to satisfy you from-the evidence, and by its greater weight, that her intestate, that is, that W. B. Newbern, and his car, on the occasion in question, was in obvious and imminent peril; also that the defendants’ driver had ac*149tually discovered such, peril prior to tie collision, or by the exercise of ordinary care could have discovered it, and she must also satisfy you from the evidence, and by its greater weight, that her intestate, W. B. Newbern, and his employee, were totally unaware of the danger and were, therefore, unable to escape. And she must further satisfy you from the evidence and by its greater weight that defendants’ driver had time in which, by the exercise of reasonable care, he could, by the use of the means at hand, having due regard to his own safety and the safety of others, have avoided the collision, if he discovered the peril that the plaintiff’s intestate was in, or by the exercise of ordinary care could have discovered it. Now, gentlemen of the jury, if the plaintiff has satisfied you from the evidence, and by its greater weight, of the truth of each and every of those elements, that is of the existence of each and every of those elements, then, gentlemen of the jury, it would be your duty to answer this third issue, ‘Yes.’ But if the plaintiff has failed to so satisfy you of the existence of any one of those elements, or if the evidence in the case is equally balanced upon any one of those elements, then, gentlemen of the jury, it would be your duty to answer the third issue, ‘No.’ ”
It is not negligence per se to back a car upon a highway. Norman v. R. R., 167 N. C., 533; The Law of Automobiles, supra, sec. 73, p. 158, says: “The general rule is that the backing of vehicles on the highway is not prohibited by law.” Such an act is not prohibited by statute nor in itself by any principle of the law of negligence. It is a matter of common observation that the practice is habitual amongst drivers of automobiles and other vehicles — in towns and cities for the purpose of backing into a selected parking place, and in sections more remote for the purpose of returning to a point inadvertently passed by. And it is equally the practice, in so doing, to use that side of the street or highway which the driver is required to use in going forward. In the instant case, the car was backing only to the highway sign almost opposite to where it stopped. It was moving “just about as slow as a car could go and be in motion,” and could have been stopped almost instantly. It had backed only about ten to fifteen feet when it was hit by the truck. In the light of the evidence as to the speed and momentum of the truck, it is apparent that the car would have been hit just as hard, and with the same disastrous consequences, though it had not moved backward an inch from the point at which it had been halted.
It is well settled that when the facts are such that reasonable men may fairly differ upon the question involved in the issues, the determination of the matter is for the jury. If different men can draw different conclusions from the evidence, it is a question for the jury.
*150 We think the charge on the question of damages is sustained by the decisions of this Court. The charge is full, clear and explicit on every aspect of the controversy, and on the record we see no reversible or prejudicial error. The exceptions and assignments of error made by the defendants cannot be sustained.
We think the evidence in this case fully warranted the Court below in submitting to the jury the issues of negligence, contributory negligence and the issue of last clear chance. It is said that the last clear chance doctrine is the duty imposed by the humanity of the law upon a party to exercise ordinary or due care to avoid injury to another who has negligently placed himself in a situation of danger.
In the judgment of the court below, we find