A FedEx driver recently had what was probably a bad day. It would be hard to think of how it could have become worse once his truck ran away in reverse and brushed by a tree, which smashed the driver's door backwards.
According to a YouTube account called JWs Public Videos, someone's private security camera caught the entire incident on video for the world to see. (Hat tip to HyperVocal.)
The minute-long clip starts innocuously enough. A camera looks out past a house onto a suburban neighborhood. A FedEx delivery truck rounds the corner. Two dogs race around a fenced yard, following their genetic predisposition to chase delivery trucks.
The dogs get to the end of the fence and jump up while a third comes to join them. Truck moves past the house and out of the frame of the camera. The disappointed canines calm down and seem to eye wherever the truck parked.
Six seconds go by and suddenly the dogs are jumping up and down. They're excited. Here comes the truck again, reentering the frame in reverse. And the driver comes into view -- running beside it as he tries to get back in and put the break on. The truck is under its own power, no one at the steering wheel.
The driver manages to open the door, dropping his delivery tablet in the process, but he can't jump in or keep up. The truck continues, door now open, to race backwards across a street.
The truck crosses the happily empty street, reaches someone's lawn and heads straight toward the house. Things are looking grim. But in the process, the truck skims past a tree, which slams the open door backwards and twists the vehicle just enough to avoid the house.
The driver, who missed that step as he turned around to recover the tablet, looks up and starts running. Fast. The truck has crossed the driveway of that house and comes to a stop at a house next door. Sorry, Mr. Driver, but you were a distant second. Good thing the contest was just a short sprint. At least the dogs had a good time.
It's difficult to say which would be worse: explaining the predicament to the owners of the two houses, to the police, or to your boss.
Management at FedEx is probably unhappy with the incident and publicity, as the company promotes its "culture of safety":
Maybe adding the inexpensive step of setting the parking brake before exiting the vehicle would be a best practice worth investing in. Or, given the example, should that be break?
FedEx believes in a "best practices" approach toward safety. For example, frontline employees on Safety Continuous Improvement Teams identify potential gaps and propose improvements to safety procedures. And for the 75,000-plus drivers of FedEx vehicles on the road every day, accident prevention is the focus, a goal supported by defensive driving courses that teach drivers the principles of avoiding unsafe situations.
FedEx invests millions of dollars in equipment and technology to prevent injuries and accidents in our operations, both on the ground and in the air.