Backing maneuvers can be extremely difficult for even the most seasoned of truck drivers due to restrictions on visibility and the range of motion that the truck and trailer operation under. While most backing accidents involve inanimate objects like docking platforms, poles and trailers, when motorists or pedestrians are involved, it can be catastrophic. The Chicago trucking accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represent the injured by ensuring that they recover the compensation they deserve for the cost of their medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Proper Backing Procedures for Large Trucks
One of the blind spots truck drivers must handle is the space behind their trailers and when they are attempting to back into or out of any space, they need to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Any time it is possible, drivers should seek the assistance of a spotter who will help guide their maneuvers and alert them when objects cross the truck’s path. Truck drivers are also trained to do the following.
- Avoid backing whenever it is possible to do so as it is impossible to detect when people or vehicles enter the path of the trailer unless a spotter is providing guidance.
- Be aware of the vehicle’s blind spots and get adjusted to them. Knowing where visibility is restricted helps drivers avoid putting themselves in situations that are dangerous to others.
- When parking, consider paths that could be taken to exit the space so that the truck can be positioned to perform the maneuver most effectively.
- Perform a complete walk-around of the truck and trailer before backing to determine the amount of space available and whether there are people or vehicles behind the truck. If backing a considerable distance, additional walk-arounds may be needed just to ensure that nothing has changed.
- Minimize the amount of turning that needs to be done in reverse by placing the truck into position while moving forward. It is much easier to line up for a docking maneuver while moving forward, for example.
- Adjust the mirrors so that they offer the greatest amount of visibility and can be used as an aid while backing or cornering.
- Use flashers, a backup alarm and horn to keep traffic and pedestrians aware of your presence and intent. This may keep them from entering their path accidentally and without being noticed.
- Take their time while backing and back in the lowest gear or while in idle.
Common Causes of Truck Backing Accidents
Our Chicago trucking accident lawyers recognize that truck drivers never back into motorists, coworkers or pedestrians on purpose. They are still responsible when their mistakes cause injury, however. The causes of backing accidents include the following.
- Driver distractions. Cellphones, radios and other technology can present a distraction to the driver and cause him or her to lose focus on the distance between the truck and an object or whether people or objects may have entered its path.
- Lack of a spotter. It is not always possible for drivers to rely on spotters, but whenever one is available, he or she should request assistance. When a spotter is not available, the walk-around method can be used.
- Swinging the trailer too much while backing. The path of the trailer is much easier to predict when moving forward, and the most minor of misjudgments can result in the destruction of another vehicle or an injury to a motorist of pedestrian.
- Misjudging the distance between the truck and the destination. Common dock accidents occur simply because the driver overshot and hit the dock with force.
- The truck is not equipped with assistive technologies that can reduce the chance of an accident. Backup cameras and sensors now allow drivers to see where their trailers are in relation to where they need to go and should be used whenever possible.
Even at low speeds, accidents with trucks can prove devastating. In reality, most of the backing accidents truckers are involved in don’t result in any injuries to people because the driver often hits a dock, unattended vehicle or some object in the truck’s path. When a worker is near the dock or a pedestrian or motorist is in the path of the trailer, it is possible for the victim to be crushed beneath the trailer’s weight even though it is moving slowly.
The reality is that even when truck drivers have the best intentions, they are still responsible for their actions and should be expected to account for their mistakes. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help you recover the compensation you need to recover from your injuries or adjust to a new quality of living if you have been involved in a truck backing-up accident. We understand the physical, financial and emotional tolls that these accidents can have and how important it is to see you recover the compensation that is justly yours.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our award-winning Chicago trucking accident attorneys so that we can gather all of the information needed to investigate your claim. We will let you know what legal options are available and how we would proceed with your case to maximize the value of your claim. If we are unable to recover damages on your behalf for any reason at all, you are assured that our services won’t cost you a thing.
For additional information on backing accidents involving cars, look here.