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Preventing Vehicle Backing Accidents

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, further complicated by the fact that the driver’s seat faces forward; larger, longer, and taller vehicles have larger blind spots; mirrors can distort images; and then you have to factor in distractions, low visibility conditions and physical barriers that make it difficult to see. With all of these factors at play, there are ways we can work to reduce the risk.

    There are recognized best practices that any organization can employ to reduce the risk of backing accidents. Check out the Texas Department of Insurance's Vehicle Backing Safety Factsheet for a guide on how your organization can practice safe vehicle backing.

    For questions on preventing backing accidents or other safety concerns, please contact a member of AMRRP's Loss Control team:

    Luis Nieves
    (602) 368-6653 / lnieves@berkleyrisk.com
    Jon Stewart
    (602) 368-6626 / jostewart@berkleyrisk.com
    Carl Young
    (602) 368-6625 / cyoung@berkleyrisk.com

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