Backing up Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are often caused by errors in judgment by truck drivers backing up their trucks and trailers. Trucks have blind spots that make backing up difficult, especially when backing up a tractor with a trailer attached. In a recent Illinois case, a truck driver on foot was literally run over by a backing up truck, leaving the man with very serious injuries.
Backing up a truck under any circumstance is challenging. But for truck drivers, it’s necessary to take the necessary precautions. Truck drivers should have a “spotter” when backing up trucks. Many trucks are equipped with back up alarms cautioning others to stay clear. However, without a spotter, even an alarm can be obscured by other area noises.
Although physically demanding, a truck driver should get out of his or her truck and spot the area in which he or she wishes to back up. That way caution cones could be placed to warn pedestrians and others of the backing up truck. The backing up truck driver should also check the area in which he or she is intending to back up to see if the backing into area, like a garage or loading dock is fit for a trailer. Sometimes the trailer of the truck may be too wide or too high for the intended destination.
Truck drivers should also take precaution by turning off the radio and other devices, such as hands-free phones and dialing devices in order to concentrate on backing up. This will eliminate or prevent the chance of injuries to other drivers, pedestrians and even the driver.
Most would agree that one of the difficulties of truck driving is the backing up maneuver safely. Usually a truck driver will need to reverse the truck and trailer to a docking station for delivery or pick up. It could a station for the pick-up of refrigerated goods or heavy packages and boxes. In any case, the driver must be firmly aware of the dimensions of the area in which the backing up truck and trailer must fit. It is important to be able to see by way of the outer mirrors or a back-up truck camera to see the end of the trailer.
The easiest backing up maneuver is the straight line back up. Even if the backing up to the dock seems obvious, it can still be dangerous if the driver is not aware of the exact location of the dock. Too often truckers miscalculate a distance or size of the dock area and crash into the dock possibly injuring another worker or damaging the trailer and the trucker’s load.
Another backing up maneuver that is difficult is the one where the driver has to do a 90-degree alley docking. The truck and trailer are connected by a kind of hinge, the tandem that allows the trailer to swing to the side or to the necessary degree in order to load or unload the cargo for the trailer. Sometimes a driver will need to swing the trailer to the left or to the right depending on the dock location. Some docks have 45 degree alley docks which makes the maneuver even more difficult and often times dangerous. Semi-tractor and trailer drivers are called upon to back up their vehicles in all kinds of places. The conventional trailer is 53 feet long with the added length of the tractor that would bring the total length of the truck and trailer to about 70 feet. A truck driver may be faced with a delivery or pick up at a place, like retail store where most deliveries are done by short truck or van. That maneuver into a tight space may put at risk pedestrians and other workers as the truck driver tries to swing the tractor and trailer into the tight space allowed for the delivery.
Truck drivers should be well-versed and trained in safely backing up their vehicles. The trucker’s commercial driver’s license requires that safety comes first.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a backing up truck, contact Kreisman Law Offices 24 hours a day at (312) 346-0045 or toll free (800) 583-8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. We are here to assist you and your family so that responsible parties are held accountable for the injuries or death to individuals injured in truck accidents. We have more than 40 years of experience handling backing up truck injury cases. With our many years of experience in trying and settling truck cases in Illinois, we have the know-how to best handle your case. Our service is unmatched.