Backing accidents account for more than 150,000 incidents annually and over $2 billion a year in cost to companies and individuals. In fact, 25% of all reported accidents are due to improper backing. We do 99% of our driving in a forward motion, but 25% of ALL accidents involve backing, so there’s a problem. Here are some proven tips to help decrease or eliminate backing accidents for you and everyone around you.

  • Back up only when necessary, and back the shortest distance possible to achieve your goal.
  • Always get out and look (G.O.A.L.) before backing up and during backing.
  • There’s no time limit or limit on the number of times you can get out and look. This isn’t a speed contest.
  • If you’re unfamiliar with an area, walk into the area and survey before committing with your vehicle.
  • Back with your sight side, instead of blind side, whenever possible.
  • Roll down your windows so you can hear warnings and use your horn to announce the fact that you’re backing up. Clean your mirrors and windows for better vision.

Some other points to add are to use your 4-way flashers while backing up, back up in a straight line (when possible), check your mirrors every couple of seconds, and check clearance around your vehicle in all directions. Think in advance. Drivers can prevent situations where you’re required to back up by planning ahead. Every backing situation is new and different, even if it’s at a place you visit every day. People position cars, equipment, and building supplies in different places, so never take anything for granted. As always, be safe out there!

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