Reversing incidents are one of the top five collision types encountered by most organisations, according to work conducted by Interactive Driving Systems across the global motor fleet industry over the past 20 years.
As a result of their high potential for vehicle damage and injury to bystanders, drivers are being urged to take more care when travelling backwards.
Interactive Driving Systems undertook detailed analysis based on 79,403 motor fleet insurance claims, of which 13% involved reversing/backing. This increased to 15% for light commercial vehicles, and 19% for heavier commercial vehicles.
After reviewing a great deal of such fleet collision data over many years, Andy Cuerden from Interactive Driving Systems, said: “We believe that all drivers must exercise greater care when reversing/backing, especially fleet drivers visiting customer sites and homes as part of their daily activities.
“Because of the relatively low impact speed, many people don’t regard reversing/backing as a significant hazard.
“However, reversing/backing and slow speed manoeuvring incidents make up a large proportion of fleet collision costs and risks.
“Whether you are travelling forward at 100 kilometres per hour on a highway or reversing/backing at walking pace on a customer’s site, the same vigilance, caution and courtesy must apply.”
All drivers are being encouraged to adopt the following tips for safe reversing/backing:
• Walk around the vehicle and look for obstacles or hazards before moving.
• Always beware of pedestrians, but especially children. They are unpredictable.
• Reverse slowly - turn your head, use your mirrors and check both sides.
• Avoid reversing/backing over a long distance.
• Look behind before reversing/backing – not as you take off.
• When reversing/backing and turning remember to watch the front of your car as well.
• If towing a trailer, practice reversing/backing with the trailer in a safe location.
• Where possible, reverse/back or ‘pull through’ into parking spaces rather than out of them.