Preventing Backing Collisions
Backing collisions account for approximately one in every four vehicle accidents. Most of these accidents are preventable.
The following tips can greatly reduce the frequency and severity of backing collisions:
AVOID BACKING! Back only when it is absolutely necessary. Use pull-through parking or parallel parking when it is available. Actively look for alternatives to backing. This may take a little forethought throughout the day
If you MUST back:
Scan the area for any potential hazards when arriving.
Ensure mirrors are clean and adjusted to give the widest possible rear view.
Tap the horn twice just prior backing to notify others in the area that your vehicle is backing.
Roll down the driver’s window so that any warnings can be heard, such as a honking horn. STOP IMMEDIATELY if you hear a warning.
Back immediately after scanning the area for hazards. If backing is delayed, the environment may change, i.e. a vehicle could pull up behind you.
Keep the backing distance to a minimum.
Back at creep/idle speed and cover the brake.
Back to the driver’s side of the vehicle. This gives you a much better picture of where the vehicle is going. You should continually scan the mirrors, look over your left shoulder and check the swing out of the right front fender as you back.
If you are unsure of the clearance around or above the vehicle, secure the vehicle, then exit the vehicle and look around to ensure the backing path is clear. Check behind, to both sides, and above the vehicle.
Use a helper when one is available. Agree on hand signals before backing, and roll down the driver’s side window so the helper can be heard. Have the helper stand so that they can be seen in the driver’s side mirror. STOP IMMEDIATELY if the helper can not be seen.