Backover accidents typically happen in parking lots and driveways. A backover accident occurs when a driver puts their vehicle in reverse in order to pull out of their driveway or parking space but ends up striking the victim who is either standing behind them or walking by at the time they back up. Although victims of backover accidents can be of any age, children are the most vulnerable, often suffering severe or fatal injuries.
Because of the dangers of backover accidents, many vehicle manufacturers have begun installing video monitors in new model vehicles so drivers can look at their dashboard and see what is happening behind them. Although these monitors can help to prevent these types of accidents, safety advocates are concerned that drivers may depend too much on the monitors and not be as alert as they should be to potential victims near their vehicles.
Video monitoring systems now being installed show the driver any other vehicles or pedestrians that may be behind their vehicle. Drivers with older model vehicles that do not have monitoring systems can purchase and install their own, which safety advocates say work just as well as the ones installed in new model vehicles. But it is important to remember that no video monitoring system is foolproof.
According to national statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are about 8,000 victims injured in backover accidents every year. Approximately 200 of those victims sustain injuries so severe they do not survive. Each week, at least two children are killed and another 48 injured in backover accidents. In many of these tragic cases, it was a parent or other loved one driving the vehicle that killed or injured the child.
One of the reasons why backover accidents happen is because drivers do not always pay attention to how large the blind spot in the rear of their vehicle is. A midsize passenger car or minivan has a rear blind spot of about 30 feet. A larger SUV or truck has a blind spot of about 50 feet. The video monitoring systems do not have a range that big and so drivers should never depend solely on the system when backing up.
In order to help keep children safe, parents should teach children the following safety tips:
· Make sure children are taught about the dangers of playing around or near parked vehicles.
· Teach children not to run behind a vehicle to say goodbye to their parent or other loved one.
· Teach children never to run after a ball that is near a parked vehicle.
Drivers also need to take extra precautions when they are in areas where there are children:
· Always look around the entire area where your vehicle parked before you get in it.
· If you live in a neighborhood where there are small children, heed extra precaution.
· When backing up, make sure to look all the way back. If you need to, roll down your window so you get a better view.
· If your vehicle does not have a video monitoring system, think about installing one.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a backover accident, it is a good idea to discuss your situation with an experienced car accident lawyer in Memphis, TN to see what legal options you may have.
Thanks to Wiseman Bray, PLLC for their insight into personal injury claims and backover accidents.