Now the one type of accident I see absolutely no excuse for is a backing accident.
Backing accidents are 100% avoidable. They are 100% preventable. And yet they are probably the second most common accident in the trucking industry.
Today I jumped out of my truck and screamed at a Prime driver who almost hit my truck while backing up. This guy had two parking spaces to choose from and apparently thought he was a perfect driver so he decided to blind side (Back from the right) in to the spot.
As he was backing in he got himself so jacked around that he almost backed the front half of his trailer into my truck. I jumped out as he didn’t appear to be stopping and ran up to his truck screaming stop. He stopped about 4 inches before he hit.
Now I take great pride in my truck, not to mention I have no desire to be stuck on the east side of the US for a week or more waiting on my truck to be repaired so I came unglued on this clown.
I’m sure I was quite the spectacle standing in the middle of the parking lot screaming at this guy about how much of an idiot he was and hadn’t he ever heard the expression “Get out and look”. I screamed about how he almost hit my truck and how he didn’t deserve to be in a truck if he doesn’t know how to properly drive it.
Now after about 3 minutes of this all I got out of it was flipped off and then he drove off.
I did walk around the parking lot a little later after he left and I had someone else next to me that I found out wasn’t going any place soon, but apparently Prime had decided to leave the lot because I didn’t see his truck.
I’m not sure what it is about doing things properly, not to mention safely that is so difficult.
This JCT driver had plenty of room to pull forward and almost have a straight back in to a spot. Instead he decided to attempt to blind side in without taking a few minutes to get out and look. The results: He pushes the boulders back a couple of feet that are protecting the light pole.
This is just a common sense practice. Even some of the best drivers I know will get out and look before they back and most likely a couple of times while they are backing if it is a difficult backing situation.
Before you ever back into a place you should know what to expect. What is your clearance? Is there anything on the ground that you could hit to damage your trailer or tires? Do you have enough room to swing the truck back around under the trailer? Is there anything, anywhere, which could potentially get in your way or are there people that could move into your path while you are backing up? These are just things you check. It should become second nature to a driver.
I’ve heard the so called “Experienced” Drivers on the radio when they see someone take the time to get out and look a couple of times. “Look at that rookie” or “Damn rookie can’t back in without havin to stop and look” along with several other comments.
My experience on this is those are the ones who are trying to explain to their boss or insurance company how they managed to have a backing accident. Or the other scenario which is they are just plain ignorant. Personally I am betting on the latter.
A GOOD driver, a PROFESSIONAL driver looks, takes their time, and if they are unsure for even a second they get out and look. These drivers know safety is job one. They have patience and pride in what they do. If they happen to need to get out and look a few times, which manages to hold another driver up for a few minutes then that is just the way it is. Safety is first and foremost in their minds. And if the driver waiting is a professional he isn’t going to mind waiting for a few extra minutes.