Don’t back up blindly

Photo credit: Zds on Flickr

Photo credit: Zds on Flickr

Do a walk-around before you back up your vehicle. The delivery driver in front of my van neglected to do that yesterday.

I didn’t even have time to honk the horn. He just started his truck, as I sat in the driver’s seat saying bye to my son at the skate park.

Then it turned surreal – and became a “slow motion” moment. I realized he didn’t see me, as the big steel bumper of his truck crunched into the front of my van. I saw the whole thing coming.

The impact pushed my van backwards and caused the mirror of my car to bump my son’s shoulder lightly. Luckily he wasn’t hurt – and overall I’m okay too, aside from some muscle pain in my lower back, which I’m getting checked out ASAP by my doctor. I write this post the day after the incident, and hope it’s a passing discomfort.

The driver apologized several times and looked near to tears. Lucky for him, I’m a firm believer in the philosophy of Be nice not mean and went through the car crash paperwork process, as required.

I spared him any comments like: “You could have killed us!” or “Why the eff didn’t you look where you were going?! You nearly hit my kid!”

Because that’s not how I roll. 😉

Look before you reverse

That’s really the moral of the story, above. Be aware of what’s behind you before you back up, especially if you are right beside a park.

To get the word on backing up safely, I consulted with the Learn to Drive Smart manual from the Insurance Corporation of BC. It’s required reading for new and learning drivers going through BC’s graduated licensing program – and a good review for any driver.

“If you’ve been stopped for some time, walk around the back of your vehicle to check that your path is clear,” it reads. “Before you back up, make sure you do a 360-degree vision check. Look all around the vehicle using shoulder checks and mirror checks, and then turn your body to look out the rear window while backing up.”

So please remember this – and remind others.

Check out the Road Safety at Work website where you will find online tools and resources for developing or improving occupational road safety programs.


2 thoughts on “Don’t back up blindly

  1. Nicole H

    This is a great reminder. Sorry that this happened!

    Reading this reminded me of how each time my fiance drives my car I almost always say, “Remember, there’s no back up camera!”. He’s got a beautiful next-to-new F150 with all the bells & whistles, including a fantastic back up camera. It displays on the navigation screen, so it’s practically like watching a movie. It sure comes in handy for hooking up to our travel trailer. He doesn’t even need me to direct him!

    However, my car doesn’t have all these fancy gadgets. When I put the car into reverse, nothing beeps. I don’t have sensors or a camera. I have to use my eyes and ears. Being that I live in a family-oriented urban neighbourhood, I *always* walk around the back of my car before I get in. I’ve made it my habit. I often pull up sooooo close to the garage that I’m forced to walk around (or my fiance would have to in order to take my car).

    I was doing some looking into blind spots for work and stumbled across this website: — oh my gosh. It was eye opening (especially since I have a young son).

    As awful as this sounds, I’m glad that if this driver was destined to hit something, he hit your van. Vehicles can be repaired. I’m just thankful that nothing more happened to you or your son. Feel better soon!

  2. Susan Post author

    Thanks. I’m feeling much better – and yes it’s lucky how it happened, all things considered. Moments earlier, my son and his pal walked between the vehicles, so thank goodness the driver didn’t back up right then. So scary!


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