Backover accidents are such tragic accidents because the victims are often young children and the drivers are family members and friends. They most commonly occur in driveways or parking lots when the driver does not see the child or person behind his vehicle when backing up. Large SUVs, vans, and trucks have even larger blind spots than smaller vehicles, so the risk is greater. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), backover accidents result in over 200 deaths and around 14,000 injuries yearly.
A number of factors contribute to backover accidents. Some of these include:
- Most people are unaware of the large blind zone found around all vehicles.
- Children do not understand the dangers of a slow-moving vehicle and incorrectly assume that the driver can see them.
- Children do not recognize boundaries—like driveways, property lines, sidewalks, and parking spaces—and are often impulsive.
Ten Ways to Prevent Backover Accidents
Parents and others can take measures to reduce the risk of a deadly backover accident. Some ways to avoid this tragedy include:
- Installing a rear-view camera, sensors, and additional mirrors that can be added on any vehicle and using them in addition to looking around the vehicle before backing up.
- Always walking around and behind a vehicle before moving it.
- Knowing where your children are before backing up and having an adult supervise them while you are moving your vehicle.
- Making sure children always hold hands with an adult in a parking lot.
- Teaching your children that a parked vehicle might move and making them understand that the driver may not be able to see them.
- Teaching your children to never play behind a parked vehicle or in a driveway.
- If an adult passenger is in the vehicle, have him get out of the vehicle and watch for children while you back up.
- Roll down your window before backing up to hear children that could be near you.
- Teach your children to keep toys, bikes, and sports equipment out of the driveway.
- Keep landscaping around the driveway trimmed to ensure drivers can see the sidewalk, street, and any pedestrians while backing up.
Unfortunately, even if you take all these safety precautions, backover accidents can happen when other drivers are not careful. If you or a family member was injured in a backover accident, you need to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible to not miss the deadline to sue. Call us at (888) 348-2616 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you.