Truck Hit Object Crashes
Hit object crashes (i.e., backing into objects, striking objects during turns, etc.) are among the more frequent loss types a truck fleet will experience. These collisions usually occur at low speeds and result in relatively minor damage. These types of collisions often occur in truck stop and rest area parking lots or while maneuvering in/out of shippers/receivers docking areas.
Because of the minor amount of damage, often times these types of collisions are not treated as serious as other types of collisions. However, these collisions can be an early warning sign of bigger, more serious collisions to come. Each crash/collision that occurs, regardless of cost, should be thoroughly reviewed and investigated to determine if your driver could have prevented the collision. If you would like further information on How to Determine Accident Preventability, please contact Great West’s Regional Safety Services office to receive a copy of the 1998 Fleet Safety Awards and Safe Driver Awards programs which are free to Great West insured customers.
Please remind your drivers at your next safety meeting or during individual safety discussions to follow the safe and proper techniques to prevent hit object crashes:
Make certain that mirrors are clean and properly adjusted. Too often drivers forget to properly adjust and clean mirrors to gain maximum visibility. It is highly recommended that fender mount or extension-mount convex type mirrors be installed on the tractor. These mirrors have proven to be highly effective in improving the visibility to the forward sides of the tractor, especially on the right front area.
Make it habit to get out and look. Before maneuvering your truck into a tight space - get out and look around the area backing or maneuvering into. Walk around your vehicle, especially to the rear to get a complete picture. Check the road surface, note depressions, fixed objects, and possibility for pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Check overhead and side clearances.
Use a reliable spotter or guide if at all possible. Obtain clear understanding with the spotter on hand signals to be used. Have him/her watch blind spot areas and stop pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic. The spotter should stand in a safe area that gives you and the spotter clear visibility to the area you are maneuvering into.
Avoid parking too close to other trucks and/or cars at truck stops and rest areas. Many hit object crashes happen when parked at truck stops or rest areas. Try to avoid parking too close to other trucks or other vehicles at truck stops and rest areas. If you must park close to other trucks, it is always a good idea to write down the company name and unit number of the truck parked next to you. This will help in collecting damages should you discover your unit damaged after returning to your parked truck. Collecting damages may be difficult but having a company name and unit number helps tremendously.