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Fleet managers and drivers urged to move forward on safe reversing

3 March 2008

Across the global motor fleet industry, REVERSING incidents are invariably one of the top 5 collision types encountered by most organisations, and with their high potential for asset damage and injury to bystanders, drivers are being urged to take more care when travelling backwards. (See main article.)

The need for fleet managers and drivers to become more aware of the dangers has been emphasised by a new research report from Interactive Driving Systems, which targets reversing safety. The report warns that reversing often affects the most vulnerable of road users such as children, pedestrians and outdoor workers – and provides practical steps to reduce the risks.

The author Dr Will Murray said: ‘After reviewing a great deal of fleet crash data, we believe that all drivers must exercise greater care when reversing, especially fleet drivers visiting customer sites and homes as part of their daily activities’.

‘Because of the relatively low impact speed, many people don’t regard reversing as a significant hazard’, Dr Murray said. ‘However, reversing and slow speed manoeuvring incidents make up a large proportion of fleet collision costs and risks’.

‘Whether you are travelling forward at 60 mph on a motorway or reversing at walking pace on a customer’s site, the same vigilance, caution and courtesy must apply.’

All drivers are being encouraged to adopt the following tips for safe reversing:

  • Walk around the vehicle and look for obstacles or hazards before moving.
  • Always beware of pedestrians, but especially children. They are unpredictable!
  • Reverse slowly - turn your head, use your mirrors and check both sides.
  • Avoid reversing over a long distance.
  • Look behind before reversing – notas you take off.
  • When reversing and turning remember to watch the front of your car as well.
  • If towing a trailer, practice reversing with the trailerin a safe location.
  • Where possible, reverse into parking spaces rather than out of them.

The research report on reversing fleet safety is aimed at fleet and safety managers, and is freely available by emailing will.murray@virtualriskmanager.net