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Traffic Safety Series: Backing Safely. Course Information Course Author: Lynne Presley, Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Staff and Organizational Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Traffic Safety Series: Backing Safely. Course Information Course Author: Lynne Presley, Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Staff and Organizational Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Traffic Safety Series: Backing Safely

2 Course Information Course Author: Lynne Presley, Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Staff and Organizational Development Data Sources: Oklahoma Driver’s Manual, revised April 2003, Oklahoma Department of Public Safety; California Dept. of Motor Vehicles, Kids and Cars, Course Released: June 2004 ORACLE course code: SAFI79000 Training Credit: 30 minutes

3 Course Objectives At the end of this course, students will understand: How to safely back a vehicle How to identify a vehicle’s blind spots How to prevent a “backover” accident Parking lot safety precautions

4 Introduction Motor vehicle crashes are costly in different ways – in human lives, injuries, property damage, and to society as a whole in related insurance costs. According to a U.S. Dept. of Transportation study conducted in 2000, the most common type of crash in the United States is called “Property Damage Only” (PDO). During the year 2000, 12.3 million vehicles were damaged in PDO crashes that were reported to police, and it was estimated that another 11.3 million PDO crashes occurred but were not reported to police, for a total of 23.6 million PDO – involved crashes.

5 Introduction, cont’d. This course will examine one of the most common types of property damage only crashes – collisions which occur while backing.

6 Introduction, cont’d. We will also discuss strategies to avoid backover injuries of pedestrians.

7 Backing Situations As a typical driver, you may not have given much thought to how you back your vehicle. However, backing requires special skill and attention. Why? “Backing is more difficult... than driving forward because the field of vision is blocked by the car itself, and it’s harder to control speed and direction.” (Oklahoma Driver’s Manual, revised August 2003)

8 Backing Situations, cont’d. When might you need to back your vehicle? From a parking space in a lot From a driveway From a parking space at a curb when your way forward is blocked When you are parallel parking

9 Blind Spots We know that backing is difficult because our field of vision is partially blocked by our vehicle. This results in what are called “blind spots.” Virtually all vehicles have blind spots. The extent of these blind spots depends on the type of vehicle (trucks, vans and SUVs have larger blind spots) and the height of the driver (the shorter the driver, the larger the blind spots). Remember... Blind spots exist even when rear-view and side mirrors are used!

10 Blind Spots, cont’d. Blind spot directly in front of vehicle Blind spot directly behind vehicle  Blind spot at the rear side of vehicle As an example, according to Consumer Reports, blind spots behind a vehicle for an average-height driver (5’8”) include 12.5 feet behind a 2004 Chevy Malibu and 23 feet behind a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan. For drivers shorter than 5’8”, blind spots grow larger. Common vehicle blind spots

11 Blind Spots, cont’d. Certain conditions may present additional blind spots: Trees and bushes may block your view Your visibility may be limited by mud, dirt, snow and ice on your vehicle’s windows Remember that pedestrians have blind spots, too. People wearing hats, dark glasses, who are vision-impaired, or using umbrellas may walk into your vehicle’s path.

12 Blind Spots, cont’d. So what do blind spots mean to you, the driver? You must remember that you may not be able to see in all directions around your car, so you must be very cautious when driving forward, changing lanes, and particularly when backing your vehicle.

13 Backover Accidents While any collision can be serious, a special concern relating to backing collisions is what are called “backovers.” Quite simply, backovers occur when a driver backs into or over a pedestrian. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 2,767 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms from July 2000 through June 2001 because someone backed over them.

14 Backover Accidents, cont’d. According to Janette E. Fennell, Founder and President of Kids and Cars, “In the U.S., at least 72 children were backed over and killed in 2003; (more often than one child per week) often by a relative in their own driveway, and often by a larger vehicle such as a van, SUV, or pickup truck.”

15 Backing Safety We know that backing a vehicle poses special hazards, so what can we do to lessen the risk of a collision or backover accident? Let’s examine some basic safety precautions.

16 Backing Safety Precautions Always check behind your vehicle for pedestrians (especially small children), pets and small objects BEFORE you start to back up.

17 Backing Safety Precautions Do NOT rely on your rear and side view mirrors when backing. Physically turn your head and look back over your right shoulder to make sure your path is clear. Back SLOWLY!

18 Backing Safety Precautions Do not back into an intersection. Go around the block instead!

19 Backing Safety Precautions Be cautious when driving and backing in parking lots. Why? Many people don’t think they need to obey rules of the road in these lots. They drive across marked lanes, speed, and ignore stop and yield signs. This can lead to collisions, particularly when you are backing and they appear suddenly behind your vehicle. Other parking lot hazards include “runaway” grocery carts, people pushing strollers behind your vehicle, and cars rushing to pull into a suddenly-vacated parking space.

20 Backing Safety Precautions Remember to drive and back slowly, and to be observant, particularly in parking lots. Quick Quiz: What is this driver doing incorrectly? (see next slide for answer)

21 Backing Safety Precautions Answer: The driver is driving in the wrong direction – notice how she may run head-on into any car that backs out of a parking slot and tries to exit in the correct direction.

22 Conclusion Thank you for taking the time to go through this course. Remember that good driving habits are not instinctive – they must be learned and practiced. Lives depend on it! Would you like more information? Try clicking on these links:  Backover accidents involving children.  Oklahoma Driver’s Manual download page from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Exit Course


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