12 Pointers to Save Your Child from a Back-Over Accident
It happens far more often than you might think. In the U.S. at least 50 children are injured or killed every week as a result of being run over by a car that is backing up. Most of these accidents occur at home in their own driveways, and it is usually a family member who runs the child over.
These tragic accidents can be devastating for both the child and the person who was behind the wheel. Soon, all new vehicles will be equipped with backup cameras, and that is a good thing, but the cameras are not perfect.
Small children are at the greatest risk of being injured in a back-over accident. Because of their size, they are not visible at all from the driver’s seat when they are directly behind a vehicle and close to it. It is a huge blind spot that you cannot see with the naked eye or in your mirrors, no matter how hard you try.
Rear-facing backup cameras can correct this most of the time, but the image they produce is not reliable in poor lighting. Backup sensors may do more harm than good because they are very unreliable, but drivers who have them are more likely to back up without looking behind them first.
The best way to avoid backing over a child is to always check behind your vehicle before you get in. Of course, to protect your own children adequate supervision is crucial. Teaching them to stay away from vehicles, especially the rear end, is necessary but very young children are prone to distraction and cannot be left to their own devices.
12 Recommendations to Avoid Backover Accidents
The law firm Lieff Cabraser recommends that advises that, to keep children safe, parents and drivers undertake the following safety measures:
- Walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it.
- Know where your kids are. Make children move away from your vehicle to a place where they are in full view before moving the car and know that another adult is properly supervising children before moving your vehicle.
- Teach children that "parked" vehicles might move. Let them know that they can see the vehicle; but the driver might not be able to see them.
- Consider installing cross view mirrors, audible collision detectors, rear view video camera and/or some type of back up detection device.
- Measure the size of your blind zone (area) behind the vehicles you drive. A 5-foot-1-inch driver in a pickup truck can have a rear blind spot of 8 feet wide by 50 feet long.
- Be aware that steep inclines and large SUV’s, vans and trucks add to the difficulty of seeing behind a vehicle.
- Teach your children to never play in, around or behind a vehicle and always set the emergency brake.
- Keep toys and other sports equipment off the driveway.
- Homeowners should trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure they can see the sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out of their driveway. Pedestrians also need to be able to see a vehicle pulling out of the driveway.
- Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
- Always make sure all child passengers have left the car after it is parked.
- Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays.
If your child was injured or killed in a back over accident you can learn more about your rights and how you can recover damages for your losses by searching our directory to find a lawyer near you.