Every vehicle has blind spots on the sides, front and back of the vehicle, and these blind spots can be lethal. Fifty children in the United States are backed over every week because a driver could not see them. 48 of those are treated in emergency rooms and 2 may die. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 284 fatalities and 12,000 injuries in 2015 from backovers.
Even when drivers look carefully and use their mirrors correctly, the average vehicle has a rear blindzone of 15 to 25 feet. Shorter drivers have larger blindzones, and larger vehicles have larger blindzones. Large vehicles such as trucks, vans and SUVs account for over 60% of backovers.
Most incidents happen in driveways and parking lots. In over 70% of cases, it is a parent or close relative behind the wheel when a child is backed over. The adult may think that the child is safely inside, but the child could be standing behind the vehicle where the driver cannot see.
Most children who are backover victims are one-year-olds. These young children have just started walking and running and they don’t understand how dangerous cars can be. Children younger than age five are most at risk, but children of all ages can be backed over.
Advocacy groups have pushed to mandate backup cameras on all vehicles, and starting in 2018 all new cars come with a standard rearview camera.
Tips to Prevent Children Backovers:
• Install locks at the top of doors, so children cannot get out on their own.
• Create a habit of children being directly supervised when people are coming or going from the home.
• Walk completely around your vehicle looking for children prior to moving a vehicle.
• If you need to move a vehicle without another grown-up present, be sure the children are where you can see them.
• Always carry children through parking lots or place them in a stroller or grocery cart to keep them safe and visible.
• Do not allow children to play in streets, driveways or parking lots.
• Drivers need to heighten their awareness before putting a vehicle into reverse.
Rules to Teach Children
• Parked vehicles might move. Look for lights or smoke coming from the exhaust pipe on a vehicle.
• Never walk behind or in front of a running vehicle.
• When walking on the sidewalk, watch for cars coming and going from driveways.
Even if children have learned the dangers of vehicles, they still need constant supervision. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona may be able to investigate fault insurance issues and evaluate damages claims when serious injuries occur.
Thanks to the Law Office of Paul Englander, PLC for their insight into personal injury claims and avoiding children backovers.