Broaden Your Fleet's Field of View with Fender-Mounted Mirrors

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Lane change crashes pose a clear and present danger to motor carriers. The trucking industry has made commendable efforts to educate the public about avoiding blind spots around large trucks, but because of federal requirements mandating only two rear-vision mirrors on every tractor, it stands to reason that motor carriers should do more to expand the driver's field of view around the truck to help reduce the risk of a critical crash.

In a large truck, the driver's view is limited due to the structure of the vehicle, the configuration of the cab, and the cargo body. This greatly obstructs the view to the rear, even with the required mirrors. Because of these limitations, the driver must rely on indirect vision through side mirrors when changing lanes, backing, turning, and during startups. Adding a convex mirror to the front hood or fender can broaden the driving techniques so that drivers can better manage the space around the truck and avoid a collision.

For these reasons, it is imperative that operations staff take steps to improve the driver's field of view. First, consider the benefits of fender-mounted mirrors and sell the return on investment to upper management. If installing fender-mounted mirrors in the fleet can prevent just one lane change crash, then it would likely pay for itself. Crashes can also be looked at as business interruptions, so every crash avoided, no matter how minor, means the wheels keep turning and earning revenue.

Once management has bought in, and all of the mirrors are installed, focus on training. Start by creating a mirror check station at the terminal. This does not have to be anything fancy or expensive. Designate an area where drivers can pull in to properly adjust their mirrors before leaving on a dispatch. In conjunction with this, train drivers on how to adjust their mirrors while on the road. They will most certainly become misaligned while driving, so teach drivers to check their mirrors and make adjustments when needed. Keep in mind that even with the extra mirrors, blind spots will remain and drivers will still be responsible for managing the space around the truck. For tips on this, try Great West’s Value- Driven® Driving video on Preventing Lane Change Crashes. Drivers will learn about blind spots, space management, and crash-prevention techniques, such as “Lean and Look,” to help avoid a serious loss.

 

Call to Action

  • Install fender-mounted mirrors on each tractor

  • Create a mirror check station

  • Train drivers on proper mirror alignment

 

The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your Safety Representative, or click below to find an agent.

 

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© Copyright Great West Casualty Company 2017. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.

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