Stop Backover Accidents in Your Commercial Auto Fleet

7_10Approximately 60 occupational fatalities occur each year due to backover accidents. This number can be reduced by implementing additional safety standards for your commercial auto fleet and reduce your auto insurance premiums.

OSHA’s standard for motor vehicles only requires a backup alarm “audible above the surrounding noise level” on any vehicle with “an obstructed view to the rear.” Many artisan contractors will purchase a pickup truck or van that does not have an obstructed view, then add a bed top or van racking that can create an obstructed view. When the vehicle was purchased a backing, alarm was not installed.

As the owner of a business, what can you do to reduce the potential for a backover accident in your fleet that will decrease your commercial auto insurance premium?

The first step is to train ground employees where blind spots are and how to avoid them. Have employees who do not operate vehicles sit in the driver’s seat so they understand where the blind spots are and what the driver can actually see.

The next step – and an inexpensive tool – to reduce automobile insurance losses is a simple walk around of the vehicle. This will ensure that nobody is behind the vehicle prior to backing. Have the windows down and the radio off when backing so the driver can listen for changes in the work environment. If a co-worker is present have him or her act as a spotter, using hand signals to assist in the backing process. If the vehicle operator loses sight of the spotter he or she should stop at once.

Additional ways to reduce backover accidents and reduce your insurance premiums within your commercial auto fleet are driven by technology. In May, 2018 the NHTSA required all new passenger vehicles weighing less than 10.000 pounds to be equipped with rear view cameras. This will be an aid in reducing backover accidents. However, this requirement does not apply to larger vehicles that have larger blind spots and are more apt to be involved in a backover accident. Larger and older vehicles can be retrofitted with backing cameras. Additional safety can be provided by audible proximity detectors in the cab that will alert the driver if someone is behind the vehicle.

Call your Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agents at Richey-Barrett Insurance to create a commercial automobile insurance program that can improve safety and may save you money.

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