ARLINGTON, Texas, May 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- You may be surprised to learn that some of the most common situations for crashes aren't on the open road; they are in parking lots, driveways and parking garages, striking fixed and moving objects — while the vehicle is in reverse. With its latest instructional video, Driving Reverse, Smith System shows drivers how they can avoid backing crashes and increase safety while parking and in other backing situations.
Regardless of whether they're driving automobiles, light- or medium-duty vehicles, or heavy-haul trucks, drivers face greater challenges when driving in reverse.
"Backing crashes are one of the most common because drivers tend to let their guard down when driving in reverse," said Tony Douglas, president and CEO of Smith System. "Since they're not traveling at a high rate of speed, drivers often lose their focus, and focus is always critical for safety. Backing and parking are moments when drivers need to focus their full attention on the driving environment."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than half a million backing crashes happen each year. Many of these crashes could have been avoided if the drivers were more aware of the dangers of driving in reverse and knew the appropriate techniques to offset the hazards.
Learning the Smith System in Reverse
The same principles that make the Smith System so valuable to professional drivers on the road can be applied in low-speed parking and backing situations. The Smith5Keys®, the foundation of all Smith training programs, help drivers overcome the disadvantages of driving in reverse. The 5 Keys provide simple, actionable steps to help drivers become safer behind the wheel.
"Driving safety depends upon awareness," Douglas said. "That's what The Smith5Keys are all about; you can't change the situations around you, but by becoming more aware of the dangers and how to navigate them, you can maintain safety."
Since backing is part of every driver's job, learning to do it more safely is something that will help all drivers on and off the job. Among the techniques drivers will learn from the Driving Reverse video are:
- How to avoid backing situations when possible
- The importance of using mirrors properly
- How to manage blind spots
- The proper speed to travel when driving in reverse
- How to avoid that sinking feeling when you hear the crunch of metal — or feel that "bump"
"Having a strategy for parking and driving in reverse can dramatically decrease crashes," Douglas said. "Education and awareness will ensure that drivers are as safe while driving in reverse as they are while driving forward."
Founded in 1952, Smith System is the nation's first fleet driver safety training organization. Smith System instructors and certified trainers deliver behind-the-wheel instruction to more than 250,000 drivers annually and serve customers on every continent. Smith has been integrating driver training with telematics, driver scoring metrics and predictive risk analysis since 2012 and provides e-learning and classroom content in 22 languages.