Why Backing Up a Truck is So Hazardous

Tractor-trailers, flatbeds, semis, and other commercial or large trucks are hard enough to control when the driver is going forward. Truck drivers who back their trucks up into traffic are virtually asking for an accident to happen. There are several reasons why backing up trucks are so dangerous:

  • Unusual dimensions. The length of the trucks makes it hard or impossible to see behind the truck and to the right of the truck. The blinds spots can run several hundred feet behind the truck.
  • The trucks are hard to steer. It’s hard enough to back straight out. Most trucks need to go back and then turn into the correct lane of traffic. This is a virtually impossible task.
  • The visual devices are poor. Even with rear-view mirrors, the driver can’t see behind the truck because the rear of the truck doesn’t have a window or a way to see. Some trucks now use back-up cameras and collision assistance technology, but not every truck is equipped with them.
  • Trucks may need to use multiple lanes to navigate backing up and turning. Big rigs are, well, big. They often need additional lanes to manage a turn, and the odd angle of the cab during a turn can make it hard for drivers to see people, sidewalks, or platforms behind them.

Backing up safety precautions

When truck accidents happen due to faulty back-up procedures, experienced lawyers work to see if the driver and trucking company used the following safety techniques:

  • A spotter should be used to help guide the truck backwards and into traffic. The spotter can also help stop traffic until the truck completes its maneuvers.
  • Trucks should use horns and lights to warn other drivers and pedestrians that there are planning to back up.
  • Drivers should practice back-up techniques in open spaces.
  • Truck companies should educate their drivers, whether they are employees or independent contractors, on the latest industry back-up standards.
  • Drivers should understand what hand signals to use that other drivers will understand.
  • All truck drivers should understand where the blind spots are for their trucks. The driver and truck companies should prepare a plan to carefully handle these blind spots.
  • The cargo should be properly secured so it doesn’t move or spill while the truck is operating in reverse.

Drivers should be extra-cautious or avoid backing up altogether at night or when the weather makes it hard to navigate.

Truck accidents happen for many reasons. The Phoenix truck accident attorneys at Plattner Verderame, P.C. work with investigators, conduct extensive discovery, and even work with engineers and traffic safety professionals to help show how the accident caused our client’s injuries. We work to hold trucking companies in addition to the truck drivers for truck crashes. To speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer, call 602-266-2002 or complete our contact form.


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