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Ice Cream Truck Safety

Ice cream truck safety should be the main goal of your business. You can never be "too safe."

ice cream truck safety

Ensuring that your vehicle is equipped with safety devices, being careful to practice good safety, and giving your customers ice cream truck safety tips will help prevent injury and death.

Know the safety requirements for your city and be careful to abide by them.

Review the safety guidelines below and follow them to create a safe ice cream experience for yourself and your customers. You do not want to be responsible for the injury of a customer - especially if you could have prevented it.

Providing a safe environment will endear you to you customers. Here are a few ice cream truck safety tips.

Ice Cream Truck Safety Equipment

  • Wide-Angle (Convex) Mirrors
    • Allows the driver to see areas that would otherwise be obscured due to the largeness of the vehicle
    • Place on the front and back of the vehicle
    • Mount so that the driver can see around the entire vehicle from the driver's seat

  • Back-Up Warning Device
    • Warns people that your vehicle is backing up and reminds them to get and stay out of your way
    • Should automatically activate anytime the ice cream van is put into reverse
    • Should be loud enough to be heard and recognized by people in the area

  • Swing-Arm
  • safety ice cream truck

    • Warns drivers that people will be coming to and from your vehicle
    • Use anytime, but only when you stop your vehicle in the attempt to make a sale
    • Install on the left side of the vehicle
    • Swing arms can be either electric or vacuum powered
    • Check your city's policies: some cities require a red swing arm while others require a yellow swing arm

  • Four-Way Flashing Hazard Lights
    • Warns drivers that people will be coming to and from your vehicle
    • Use anytime, but only when you stop your vehicle in the attempt to make a sale
    • Should be bright enough to capture driver's attention from a distance
    • Install 4 flashing hazard lights on your vehicle's roof: 2 at the front and 2 at the back
    • Mount lights as widely spaced as possible and at the same level

  • "Watch for Children" Signs
    • Reminds drivers to beware of children coming to and from your vehicle
    • Letters size and colors should make the sign easy to read
    • Place on front, back and sides of your vehicle

  • "Cross Behind Vehicle" Signs
    • Reminds customers to cross around the ice cream van the safest way: by going around the back of it
    • Letters size and colors should make the sign easy to read
    • Place near the front of your vehicle on both sides

  • Rear Bumper Cover
    • Keeps kids from climbing on the back of your vehicle
    • Install over your back bumper

  • Reflective Strips
    • Provides extra visibility for your vehicle and warns motorists of pedestrians on the road
    • Buying reflective strips that also are signs (ex. reflective "Caution Children" signs) can often serve 2 safety requirements at once
    • Install on front and back of your vehicle

  • Light-up "Watch Children" Signs
    • Provides extra visibility for your vehicle at night and reminds drivers to beware of children coming to and from your vehicle

    ice cream truck, safe


  • Closeable Serving Window
    • Protects driver and employees when in use
    • Protects vehicle when not in use
    • Install serving window on the curbside of the vehicle



Ice Cream Truck Safety Practices

  • Driving
    • Drive with care and with caution.
    • Obey all traffic laws and regulations.
    • Don't drive over 10 mph while selling ice cream.
    • Don't drive backwards to make a sale. Let customers come to you.
    • Only operate your vehicle for selling purposes during the day - not late at night or early in the morning.
    • Make sure your vehicle is in good repair.
    • Send your vehicle in for a safety inspection.

  • Selling
    • Have a regular route so people know when and where to expect you.
    • Only sell ice cream on the curbside, not the roadside.
    • Only sell ice cream in places that you have an unobstructed view of the road for at least 200 feet in both directions.
    • Don't sell ice cream within 50 feet from an intersection.
    • Don't sell ice cream close to a school while school is in session
    • Don't sell ice cream on a road whose speed limit is higher than 25 mph.
    • Stop and park your ice cream van before selling ice cream.
    • Never leave your vehicle unattended while selling ice cream.
    • Make sure the traffic's clear before giving customers (especially kids) their order. This will prevent customers from grabbing their order and running straight into another vehicle while devouring their ice cream.
    • Before leaving any area, check all around your vehicle to make sure there are no kids close by.



Instruct Customers in Ice Cream Truck Safety

ice cream truck safety

  • Control your excitement! When coming or going, walk - don't run!
  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Make sure the ice cream truck has totally stopped before coming towards the vehicle.
  • Only cross behind the ice cream truck - never in front of it.
  • Never climb onto or go into the ice cream truck.
  • Always tell an adult where you are going before you go to the ice cream truck.
  • Safety is more important than a lick of ice cream!



Remember safety, not sales, is your number one goal!


By Jenn Fraiser

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