Backing accidents happen all the time. If the accident involves backing into another vehicle or a stationary object, such as a mailbox, tree, or pole, you likely face the frustration of dealing with the issue, the costs of repairs, and some mild embarrassment. If, however, your accident is one of the estimated 300 annual backing accidents that involve hitting and killing a person, the consequences are significantly greater.
In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) estimated that nearly 15,000 people were injured in backing accidents. To combat this problem, the NHTSA issued a rule that went into effect this spring: All new cars sold in the U.S. are now required to have a rearview camera.
Despite the new law, many drivers are uneducated about their rearview camera systems and nearly all older vehicles lack any camera at all. No matter your situation, however, there are several ways to protect your fleet and others when reversing.
1. Install a backup camera
If your fleet is made up of older-model vehicles, installing backup cameras is the most effective way to improve your drivers’ backing safety. By adding these safety features to your vehicles, you can equip your drivers to be fully aware of their surroundings, no matter the type or size of their vehicle. With the many visual and audible features offered by these cameras, you can decrease the number of backing accidents and improve your fleet’s safety and bottom line.
2. Focus on education
Tools are often limited by the user’s knowledge, so be sure to train your drivers on how to use and care for your rearview cameras. Train each driver on the ins and outs of their cameras’ use, ensuring they understand the alerts and limitations before using them around other vehicles and pedestrians.
3. Avoid overdependence
Despite the many benefits of backup cameras, they also run the risk of creating a dependence on technology. Though rearview cameras are powerful, they can still fail. To avoid dangerous and costly accidents caused by an overdependence on technology, keep your drivers aware of the risks. Stress the importance of maintaining visual and mental awareness of the activity around the vehicle. By training drivers to use your cameras to supplement their backing awareness, rather than replacing it, you can improve the safety of everyone around them.