Approximately 300 people lose their lives and another 18,000 are injured every year as the result of back-up collisions. Back-up crashes most often occur in residential driveways and parking lots, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
While today's vehicles are equipped with sophisticated rearview camera systems, every commercial driver should know how to back up safely in the event a camera fails.
Reducing the risks associated with backing up begins with some simple preparation prior to making the actual move.
First, make sure to properly adjust all mirrors so you have the greatest visibility possible. Second, eliminate all distractions — turn off the radio and put the cup of coffee down, for example.
Finally, get yourself into a solid backing position. Experts suggest shifting the body toward the driver's door, which creates an angled position that also allows you to put your right arm over the seat and get your body a little elevated.
Place your left hand on the steering wheel in the 12 o'clock position. Using an open palm, steer with one hand — pushing and then gripping the wheel when near the top.
The one hand steering allows you to stay in a position where you can see out the back and side windows.
While backing, also make sure to take quick glances forward to make sure nothing in front has changed.
This backing position reduces the void area around your vehicles. Drivers are able to see a lot more when raised up slightly in their seat.