Backing Up Safely in a Motor Vehicle (or Heavy Equipment) Toolbox Talk

August 19, 2021
By N. Nicholas, ASP
Backing Up Safely in a Motor Vehicle (or Heavy Equipment) Toolbox Talk

Backing up is not as easy as it may seem.

Backing a vehicle can be dangerous; the same holds true for backing up other equipment such as lawn mowers and heavy equipment.

In this safety talk, we’re going to look at some hazards that people face when backing up large vehicles (trucks, pickups, cars) in an effort to reduce accidents from occurring.

What are the most common types of errors that people make while driving large vehicles?

The first way that drivers make simple mistakes is by turning their head away from the road while they’re operating the vehicle’s controls.

This makes them less aware of what’s around them, including pedestrians.

Another issue involves drivers who use mirrors incorrectly: they’ll often use their side-view mirrors for backing up.

This makes it harder to see obstacles that are close to the vehicle; drivers should use their rear-view mirrors instead of the side-views when they’re backing up.

How can you compensate for these errors?

The best way is for people to practice good habits while driving large vehicles:

  • Always turn on one’s headlights and taillights
  • Be aware of blind spots
  • Check mirrors frequently before making a lane change or turning
  • Make certain that there are no pedestrians or bicyclists within the car’s range of travel (backing up)
  • Make a complete stop before entering onto freeways, and get plenty of rest beforehand

These steps will keep everyone safe from accidents involving backing-up in heavy equipment.

Backing Up Carefully

When driving large vehicles such as trucks and industrial equipment, it’s important to remember that backing up carefully is just as important as when one drives forward.

Watch out for pedestrians or bicyclists if you’re behind the wheel of a car; always check the mirrors in your vehicle before parking or backing up.

Make sure that you can see obstacles behind you while operating a tow truck. In the event that an accident occurs, be sure to call 911 immediately so that emergency help arrives on time.

Backing Up Hazards

Backing up is not as easy as it may seem. There are many hazards surrounding and within vehicles themselves. First of all, the tires of a vehicle have tread patterns designed for driving forward, not for backing up.

This causes them to slip and slide if one is going backwards on a slick surface such as ice, snow or mud. Especially when turning around, drivers must be careful not to spin their wheels; otherwise they face danger from losing traction.

Also, drivers should stay well away from roadside barriers because if they back into them there’s a good chance that both the vehicle and driver might sustain injuries.

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