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Vehicle Safety Best Practices: Vehicle Spotting

National statistics indicate that backing collisions account for about one-quarter of all collisions. Implementing safe backing best practices can help protect yourself, others, and the vehicle.  For starters, consider using a spotter, or a person outside the vehicle, to alert you of hazards within your blind spots.

Spotting Safely

Spotting may seem like a simple task but using the following tips can help you ensure a smooth process:

  • Discuss your intended maneuver with your spotter.
  • Clarify the meaning of hand signals with your spotter before you begin.
  • Maintain eye contact between you and your spotter while operating your vehicle.
  • Ensure your spotter is a safe distance from the vehicle you are operating.
  • Stop immediately if you are confused by the spotter’s signals.

What if I don’t have a spotter?

If you don’t have a spotter, take a few extra precautions to ensure you are backing safely:

  • Complete a vehicle walk around to check for vehicle damage or objects and conditions that could cause vehicle damage.
  • Walk the entire path you intend to take and inspect the area for potential hazards.
  • Use the vehicle’s side and review mirrors, check bind spots by looking over your left and right shoulders, and if the vehicle is equipped, use your back up camera.

Although driving is an everyday task, we sometimes have a false sense of security.  Protect yourself from complacency by taking the extra time to do it safely.

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Brian Pelan
Brian Pelan
OSE Director, Laramie, WY

Brian has over 20 years of professional experience in environmental, health, safety, and security (EHS&S). His areas of expertise include EHS&S risk management; ISO systems management & auditing; fluid recovery/recycling; and industrial hygiene services.
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