There are probably several reasons for the frequency of accidents when backing up vehicles. One may be that the driver fails to exercise the usual precautions, think that a backing accident is unlikely to result in personal injury. Then too, the driver may think that little damage is done because the vehicle is being operated at low speed.
Many backing accidents occur because operators rely too heavily on their vehicle mirrors. Even with the best of mirrors and mirror arrangements, there still are blind spots to the sides of the vehicle and behind it.
To reduce the number of backing accidents, we have to know and observe necessary preventive measures. Here are some guidelines:
- Make every effort to avoid backing. Park so that you can move forward when starting. Avoid making “Y” turns in driveways or roads.
- Park in a location away from traveling or parked vehicles, thus avoiding setting yourself up for a collision.
- If parked in one spot for any period of time, walk around your vehicle and check for any children, other vehicles, or obstacles. (Did you ever wonder why some companies require a cone to be placed at the rear of any parked service vehicle? That’s one reason.)
- Whenever you can’t see through a rear window, the law requires that a signal person be stationed where they can view the rear of the vehicle and be seen by the operator.
- Before backing, sound your horn with two quick beeps, check rear and side view mirrors, watch side clearances, and then back slowly.
Backing a vehicle is often said to be a true test of a driver’s ability. Backing accidents can be prevented.