JIM LUFF DRIVING GEM: A few weeks ago on this blog, I cautioned how backing up vehicles is the leading cause of minor accidents. It happened again in our fleet, so I’d like to elaborate on the topic again.
To minimize the risk, make sure you walk completely around your vehicle before you back up and take note of potential objects you might hit. When possible, use a spotter to guide you back and look directly at you in the driver's side mirror to give you hand signals. Try to park in places where backing would never be necessary. This is called, “FIRST MOVE FORWARD.” The first movement you make after starting the vehicle would be to go forward. If you have any doubt at all about how close you are to an object when backing, STOP THE VEHICLE AND GET OUT. Check how many feet you have between you and the object and then back slowly within that distance and stop. Get out again if necessary to re-check. Do not take unnecessary risks. — Jim Luff LCT contributing editor
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