4 Truck Backing Safety Tips (G.O.A.L.)

July 20, 2018

Backing up a truck is one of the most dangerous - and potentially expensive - maneuvers that truckers can do and can be overcome by the use of extra care and caution.

Backing events require extreme caution

  • Backing accidents are the most frequent type of accidents in all of trucking
  • If you must back up, GET OUT AND LOOK
  • Check for proper clearance on all six sides: up, down, left, right, front, and rear
  • Continue to GET OUT AND LOOK multiple times
  • Don’t just think you’re clear, KNOW you’re clear: GET OUT AND LOOK
  • Using a ground guide to assist is always a good idea
  • Even with assistance, it is the driver’s responsibility to not strike anything
  • GET OUT AND LOOK, even if a dozen people are flagging you back
Severe consequences may result from improper/ unsafe backing
  • Backing into a fixed object, moving object and/or person
  • Backing over a fixed object, moving object and/or person
  • Pinning a person
    • According to the National Safety Council, 1 out of 4 vehicle accidents can be attributed to poor backing techniques.
  • Backing accidents cause 500 deaths and 15,000 injuries per year.

While You Are Backing 

  • Back from the driver’s side
    • Minimize the distance you need to back. The less ground you cover in reverse; the less chances you will have striking a fixed object.
  • Have patience & don’t rush
    • No one ever made up time by backing quickly. Take a deep breath and commit yourself to perfect backing with no compromises.
    • Slow movement helps you maintain full control of your vehicle and to correctly judge distances.
  • Check all sides as you back
    • Remember that there are 6 sides to your vehicle (back, front, both sides, above and below).
    • Keep your eyes moving to ensure conditions have not changed.
  • Use all of your resources and guides
    • Use a spotter if someone is available. Be sure to keep your spotter in sight at all times.
    • Make sure your mirrors are clean and in good positions to maximize the view around your vehicle – Know your blind spots!
    • Roll down your window and listen to the environment around you.
  • If you are unsure, G.O.A.L.
    • If you begin backing and become unsure of your surroundings, get out and look again!
You, as the driver, are 100% responsible for safely backing your vehicle
  • A driver should not and cannot blame a spotter, the vehicle mirrors, or a rearview camera on his/her backing mistakes.
  • Never rely 100% on anything other than yourself. G.O.A.L – Get Out And Look.


Transportation , Safety

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