Safety Measures to Prevent Backover Accidents
Thousands of children are hit by cars every year, with many resulting in fatalities. Many of these deaths are caused by backovers. A backover occurs when a car, typically backing out of a parking space or driveway, doesn’t see a child behind the vehicle and runs over him or her. Sadly, a 6-year-old girl from Vacaville, California, was recently the victim of such an incident.
The child was riding her bike on a gravel road on her grandfather’s property. The 59-year-old man had stopped to attach a boat to his truck. When he backed up the truck, he didn’t realize his granddaughter was behind it. He backed over her and quickly rushed her to the hospital; but, she died before treatment could be administered.
This is just one story of thousands. Statistics show that in the United States, 50 children are victims of backovers each week. Of these, at least two are fatally injured. Most of these children are between 1-2 years old, with 96% of them under 5 years of age.
Approximately 70% of the drivers behind the wheel are parents, grandparents or other relatives. Most of these incidents involve a truck, van or other large vehicle.
The area behind a vehicle is called a blindzone, appropriately named because the driver is essentially blind to any small objects located directly behind the car. With so many incidents occurring on a weekly basis, how can drivers better see what is behind them?
First of all, it’s important that parents and caretakers know where children are at all times. When backing up, children should be kept as far away from the vehicle as possible, or seated and buckled inside the vehicle itself.
California has the highest rate of backovers. Between 1990 and 2012, the state had 214 incidents. This is almost double the amount of Texas, which had the second-highest rate at 119, and three times the amount of Florida, which had 71 incidents. Rhode Island and the District of Columbia had zero incidents during the same time period.
Preventing Backover Accidents
After-market devices are available for drivers, particularly elderly drivers who have difficulty seeing or turning their head to look behind them. Larger rear-view mirrors are available. In addition, many newer vehicles are equipped with backup sensors and cameras to aid the driver when traveling in reverse.
Over the years, our lawyers have represented hundreds of injured pedestrians. If you or a loved one has been injured, call us now for a free consultation. Attorney Jeffrey Nadrich urges the public to be cautious when backing out of a driveway or a parking spot. Take the extra time and save a life.