We’ve all heard that loud – and annoying – “beep beep” noise from a truck as it goes into reverse. This sound is to alert other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists that the driver is about to back up the semi-truck, and to proceed with caution. Whether reversing, turning around, or attempting to maneuver into a parking lot or loading dock, truck drivers have a limited amount of visibility and space.
And, recent research shows that most of us have learned to tune that “reverse beep” sound out. Even though it’s piercingly loud, the beep is also low-frequency, meaning it’s difficult to quickly locate where the sound is coming from. (Experts are currently looking into using white noise as a solution, which sends out a more focused alert.)
It’s no surprise, then, that truck backing-up accidents are quite common. When drivers are careless while reversing their trucks, they can cause accidents like multi-vehicle collisions, or backing over a smaller vehicle or even a pedestrian. And, because of their size, a tractor-trailer doesn’t need to be traveling at a high speed to do damage and cause serious injury.
Negligent truck drivers, or drivers who aren’t properly trained to handle their vehicles, can put everyone around them in danger when they attempt to maneuver themselves into tight spaces like busy city streets or loading docks.
Backing-up accidents due to negligence
Even with safety technology like rear-view cameras on modern cars and trucks, drivers of any vehicle should proceed with caution when backing up. However, it’s even more important for drivers of 18-wheelers to be careful, due to the massive size of their trucks in comparison to the other vehicles and pedestrians around them.
For example, when drivers focus on only one of their mirrors while backing up, they’re doing just half of their job. Looking in only one mirror certainly can’t show them every possible object in their path, and the rear of a tractor-trailer is always obscured. However, by strategically using both mirrors and any available safety technology, drivers can have a much more complete idea of what’s behind them before they back up.
Truck drivers have a responsibility to ensure the path is clear before moving their vehicles, including in reverse. They can do anything from getting out of the car to check, using a spotter, or putting out traffic cones to indicate to traffic and pedestrians that they’ll be moving a large vehicle.
Tractor-trailers should also be outfitted with back-up beepers, flashing lights, and other safety features to both assist truck drivers in backing up more safely, and to alert passers-by to use caution. If a truck fails to do so, tragic accidents can result.
If you were injured in a truck accident, talk to the North Dakota injury lawyers at the Larson Law Firm, P.C. today. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve after a negligent driver causes you harm. Call us today at 701-484-4878 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation at our office in Minot.