Striking Fixed Objects
Hitting stationary objects, particularly overhead objects, is one of the most common accidents in the transportation industry. While they are common in occurrence, they are also very preventable. Avoiding these types of accidents takes a combination of skill, awareness, and attitude.
To avoid striking fixed objects, remember:
- Check and adjust your mirrors prior to starting a trip, as well as while en route.
- Check your mirrors often while driving, especially when maneuvering is tight, to get a good idea of the clearance on both sides of your vehicle.
- Overhead wires can begin to sag over time or may not have been hung to necessary heights. If you have any doubts about your vehicle clearing under them, get out and check.
- Observe posted clearance signs for overpasses, canopies, and other structures. As with overhead wires, get out and check before proceeding underneath if you are still unsure. Be aware of signs or other postings restricting truck traffic.
- If using a GPS system, make sure the system utilizes truck routes and do not otherwise surrender total control of decision making to the GPS system.
- When backing, use the assistance of a spotter if someone is available and knowledgeable. Otherwise remember to “get out and look” to make certain the path behind your vehicle is clear.
- When turning, remember to check your mirrors to see whether or not your vehicle is properly tracking and not going to hit something.
As stated earlier, hitting stationary object accidents are among the most frequently occurring types of accidents. Remembering to follow these important guidelines will go a long way toward preventing them. Doing so can save money and time that can be better spent elsewhere.