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Preventing Vehicle Backing Accidents

Backing a vehicle is something we all probably do several times a day without giving it a whole lot of thought.  But according to the national statistics on backing accidents, it is something we need to pay very close attention to from a loss control standpoint. 

To give you an idea of the scope of this issue, here are some alarming statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • Each year there are at least 500,000 backing accidents of some type.
  • Of the half million accidents, 15,000 included some sort of injury.
  • Approximately 210 people are killed annually from backing accidents, mostly children under the age of 5 (31 percent of all fatalities). 

Now consider the fact that we all drive thousands of miles going forward each year but probably only one or two miles in reverse!

Backing is not an easy maneuver, which can be further complicated by the following factors.

  • The driver’s seat faces forward
  • Larger, longer, and taller vehicles have larger blind spots
  • Mirrors can distort images
  • Driver distractions
  • Low visibility conditions
  • Physical barriers that make it difficult to see.

However, with all of these factors at play, there are best practices that drivers can follow to reduce the risk of a backing accident. Check out the Vehicle Backing Safety Factsheet for a guide to how your organization can practice safe vehicle backing. 

For questions on safe vehicle backing or other safety issues, contact a member of SSCIP's Loss Control team today:

Jon Stewart

​(602) 368-6626 / jostewart@berkleyrisk.com

Patti Fields

​(602) 368-6653 / pfields@berkleyrisk.com

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