Are Forklifts More Dangerous Than Driving a Car?

March 1, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Maybe driving a forklift seems pretty straightforward. And you may be wondering, is driving a forklift the same as driving a car?

Basically, it’s the same. They both have a steering wheel, four wheels, and a seat belt. But the similarities end there. Spend a few minutes driving a forklift, and you’ll realize how different it is from driving a car.

They’re potentially more dangerous if you’re not quite familiar with a forklift. You can get into a forklift accident and cause serious damage.

Forklift Accidents

While forklifts are critical machines that move millions of tons of products in many workplaces, they can be very dangerous.

Nonetheless, you may find that the total number of accidents every year is higher for cars than for forklifts. This is mainly because vehicles are far more on the road than forklifts in operation.

OSHA estimates that around 11% of forklifts will be in some kind of accident, and insurance company statistics indicate that the average driver needs to file a claim once in 17.9 years.

Not all accidents lead to insurance claims, but the information indicates that forklifts have a higher accident rate than cars.

Why Is Driving A Forklift Not Like Driving A Car?

Let’s see what makes a forklift different from driving a car:

Rear-Wheel Steering

It just makes sense that all cars have front-wheel steering. However, it isn’t the same case with a forklift. The majority of them have a rear-wheel drive. Reason being:

  • Rear-wheel steering allows maneuvering and making sharp turns with high precision in tight and narrow spaces where forklifts are frequently used.
  • It wouldn’t be a good idea to have front-wheel steering in forklifts. This is where most of the weight is supported when load lifting.

Many accidents occur because forklift drivers have no control of their rear-end swing. It’s advisable to take the rear-end swing into account when maneuvering or taking corners in tight spaces.

Obstructed Driver’s View

It wouldn’t be safe to drive a car with your driving view being obstructed from time to time. But that happens with a forklift; your view is often obstructed, especially when driving large forklifts.

As a forklift operator, you may have to drive in reverse for some time to get maximum visibility. Therefore, driving a forklift requires adequate skills and sufficient training.

Slow Responsiveness

Car steering is incredibly responsive compared to forklifts. You’ll only navigate safely through a buy building or warehouse when you understand that a forklift is nowhere as responsive as a car.

Forklifts have rear-wheel steering, which makes it difficult to stop swiftly. Remember, forklifts are heavy machinery, so they’re precarious to drive.

Forklift Safety

Most experts would agree that forklifts are more dangerous than driving a car. Though they’re tremendous tools, they can cause deadly accidents.

Safety is paramount; forklift operators should have the right level of training and always take extra precautions to avoid unnecessary hazards when operating a forklift.

Forklift Services at V-Bar Equipment

At V-Bar Equipment, we offer excellent services, including selling and servicing forklifts, forklift training, forklift telehandlers, forklift rental, renting heavy equipment, boom lifts, scissor lift, selling parts of all products, skid steers, compact tractor attachments, electric pallet jacks, and more.

We have an excellent staff that is always ready to answer any of your questions. Stop in or call us today!






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