When you back up in your vehicle, what is your typical routine? Do you give your mirrors a quick glance? Maybe you place your arm along the passenger seat as you turn to look behind you. However you check behind you, it could be the difference between life or death for a child, pet, or elderly person who walks behind your vehicle.
We are committed to fleet safety, so we have put together this list of tips to help you avoid backing accidents with your personal and fleet vehicles.
1. Know your vehicle’s blind spots
Even if you have a backup safety system or extra mirrors, it’s important to know your visual weak spots when driving. Always give those spots some extra attention when you back up.
2. Park defensively
When you have to park in an area with an abundance of vehicles and/or a lack of parking, choose your parking spots carefully. Take care to park in the center of your space, so you don’t crowd other cars, and to pick a spot you can easily exit.
3. Plan in advance
If you are parking in an alley or another place without an outlet, plan your exit ahead of time. If you can’t turn around, back into your parking spot. This will allow you to pull straight out of your spot and avoid any backing incidents.
4. Walk around your vehicle
By walking around your vehicle, you’ll be able to see any potential backing and clearance issues, including potholes, muddy areas, low-hanging branches, tire hazards, wires, and limitations. Check for children, pets, and anyone else who may be behind your vehicle.
5. Remember that every backing is different and new
Even if you are backing out of the same driveway you’ve used every day for the past decade, remember that each situation is brand new. Treat each backup as if it’s new and diligently check for obstacles and changes every time.
6. Ask for help
If you feel like you need assistance, ask someone nearby to serve as your spotter. Agree on hand signals beforehand and have them stand to the side instead of walking backwards.
7. Don’t delay
Once you finish your walk-around, get in your vehicle and leave immediately. This will lessen the likelihood of someone or something moving behind your vehicle before you leave.
8. Get a backup safety system
Backup safety systems can make a huge difference for backup safety. Most systems include cameras and sensors that will alert you when there’s an obstacle or person behind your vehicle. Equip your personal and fleet vehicles with backup safety products from our selection to guard against backing accidents.