Backing vehicles account for one in four accidents. Given that the average distance covered while backing up is measured in tens of feet, that’s a lot of car accidents per mile driven. The reasons come down to the driver’s poor visibility and not exercising the proper precautions. Here are eight safety tips to avoid becoming a statistic:
- Don’t back up. Whenever possible, position your car while parking so that you can leave by moving forward. If you can’t do this without backing into the space, it is still preferable to backing out of the space later because you will have better visibility. For driveways that exit on roads with fast traffic, do a three-point turn in the driveway so that you can pull into the road going forward.
- Roll down your window. This will help you hear approaching cars and honking horns.
- Keep it slow. Drivers in a hurry hit their accelerators while backing out of driveways or parking spaces. This increases their risk of hitting a car or pedestrian. This maneuver isn’t worth the few seconds saved. Back out slowly and be ready to hit the brakes.
- Look over your left shoulder. Don’t rely on the rear view mirror alone. Combine mirror scanning with looking over your left shoulder.
- Adjust your mirrors. Your mirrors should give you the maximum possible view behind you. In addition, be aware of your blind spots and check them. This is especially critical for large vehicles such as SUVs, pickups, and vans.
- Use your horn. Honk your horn twice before backing up to alert cars and pedestrians to your intention.
- Watch for children. Small children cannot be seen when walking close behind vehicles. Get out of your car and check before backing out.
- Ask for help. Ask a passenger to guide you out. This is especially important when larger vehicles parked beside you block your view.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, contact us at Hogan Injury.