In June, two-year-old Corae Jones died at St. Louis Children's Hospital only hours after her cousin backed over her at a relative's home in Bel-Ridge, Missouri. The occupants of the vehicle, which included Corae's father, believed that Corie was indoors with her mother.
Corae's tragic Missori accident story is not unusual. In 2007, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted the first study of back-up accidents. They found that more than four people are killed every week by vehicles that are in reverse.
Each year, an average of 292 Americans are killed in back-up accidents. An additional 18,000 are injured. More than one-third of these victims are children under age 5. Many of these victims are run over by their own parents in their family's driveway.
Another one-third of victims are adults over age 70.
Why do back-up accidents occur?
Many back-up accidents occur because there is a large blind spot behind a vehicle. Sedans have the smallest blind spot.
Average blind spot for a sedan: 12 feet
Average blind spot for a minivan: 13 feet
Average blind spot for an SUV: 14 feet
Average blind spot for a pick-up truck: 30 feet
The blind spot may increase if the driver is short.
What can be done about back-up accidents?
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is concerned about back-up accidents. Last December, he proposed that most new vehicles be equipped with back-up cameras. This technology, which is no optional for many passenger vehicles, allows drivers to see if anyone is in their vehicle's blind spots.
The new rules were scheduled to take effect in 2014, but they may be delayed until 2015.
Until you have a back-up camera, the Blue Springs, MO auto accident lawyers at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys suggest the following
1. Always walk around to the back of your vehicle before backing up. This will help you see any people or objects that you may not be able to see from the driver's seat.
2. Make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted and use them when backing up.
3. Talk to your children about the dangers of playing in driveways or near parked cars.
4. Never let young children play outside unsupervised.
5. Always, buckle all child passengers in their car seats before putting the key in the ignition.
6. Make sure you know the location of all family members, especially children, who are not traveling with you before backing out of a driveway or garage.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.