Be Safe Tuesday: Safety Stand Down Week

Backing Into Trouble

Los Angeles:  A Trash Truck driver was attempting a sharp right turn but wasn’t able to complete the turn.  The driver stopped and began to back up, striking a 60 year old woman crossing the street in the crosswalk.  She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Backing is the most common type of accident involving our industry’s trucks and contributes to 25% of all traffic accidents.  What can you do to avoid the dangers of backing?

  • Avoid backing by planning ahead.
  • Alert your supervisor or dispatch if a container or stop could be changed to eliminate or minimize backing.
  • If you must back, back first.
  • Use a spotter, if possible and where appropriate.
  • STOP.  Check your surroundings, mirrors and monitors.
  • Sound your horn before backing.
  • Back up alarms, cameras and detection systems are common devices used to prevent backing accidents.
  • DO NOT back with a rider on the rear step.
  • DO NOT back if your mirrors or camera are covered with ice or dirt.

Technology, training, sensible routing and wearing high visibility garments can all play a role in improving safety while backing.