What Percentage of Backing-Up Accidents Involve Large Trucks?

large truck accidents in Florence, AL

It’s challenging to say what percentage of backing-up accidents involve large trucks, as safety agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) don’t provide detailed data on backing accidents. However, the Alabama Department of Transportation has some useful backing accident statistics. A recent report indicates that 442 truck crashes in one year (roughly 4.2 percent of all truck crashes statewide) involved improper backing. These figures suggest improper backing is a significant factor in many Alabama truck accidents.

The Alabama truck accident lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., believe it’s vital to hold truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for improper backing crashes. This article aims to shed some light on this critical safety issue and offers guidance for people who sustain injuries in preventable backing-up truck crashes.

Why Backing Up Accidents Happen

While statistics don’t reveal what percentage of preventable collisions result from backing or what percentage of backing collisions are preventable by the driver, we do have some idea of why these accidents happen. Some of the most common causes of backing-up accidents involving trucks include:

  • Limited visibility – Large commercial vehicles often have more significant blind spots than other vehicles. The area directly behind a large truck is particularly hard to see, making it challenging for truckers to notice vehicles, pedestrians, or obstacles immediately behind the truck.
  • Miscommunication – On busy sites like highway construction zones or warehouses, miscommunication between the truck driver and spotters or other workers can lead to accidents.
  • Inadequate mirrors or cameras – Some trucks may have inadequate mirrors or camera systems to provide a full view of the rear, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Rushed conditions – Drivers might feel pressured to move quickly in high-traffic areas or when operating on tight schedules, leading to hurried and unsafe backing maneuvers.
  • Inexperience or lack of training – Drivers who are not well-trained or who are inexperienced with the dimensions and handling of large trucks might misjudge the space needed to back up safely.

Determining Liability for a Backing Up Accident

Several parties could be liable for a backing-up accident involving a large truck, such as:

  • Truck driver – The driver may be liable if the accident resulted from improper backing techniques, distraction, failure to check blind spots, or other forms of negligence.
  • Trucking company – The company might be liable if the accident happened due to issues like inadequate training, failure to maintain the truck, or pushing drivers to rush due to tight schedules. If the trucker was an employee – not an independent contractor – the employer would be vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence.
  • Vehicle or equipment manufacturers – If malfunctioning truck equipment, such as cameras or sensors, contributed to the accident, the manufacturer could be responsible.

Tips for Backing a Large Truck Safely

Knowing how to back up a large truck safely is crucial to preventing accidents and ensuring everyone’s safety. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Use spotters. Whenever possible, have a reliable spotter guide you.
  • Check mirrors and cameras. Always use your mirrors and any available camera systems to gain a full view of the truck’s rear.
  • Go slowly. Take your time and move slowly to increase reaction time.
  • Ensure clear communication. Use clear signals or communication devices to alert others around you.
  • Get regular training – Engage in frequent training to stay sharp on safe backing techniques.

Get Help Navigating the Claims Process After a Huntsville Truck Crash

It’s up to truck drivers, trucking companies, and others to take proper precautions to prevent backing-up accidents. When they don’t, and you’re injured as a result, the team at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., can help you seek fair compensation for your injuries.

Call us today or complete our contact form for a free consultation with an Alabama truck accident lawyer.

Since 1966, our lawyers have been standing up for injured victims and taking cases to court in North Alabama and all across the state. If you’re hurt in an accident, you want to be sure that you have the most qualified injury & accident lawyers representing you with a proven track record representing injured victims in the courts.