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Practicing Safe Driving Prevents Backover Tragedies

Steve Wagner

Backover accidents are too often predictable and preventable tragedies that will change the lives of all involved forever. According to statistics provided by Safe Kids Worldwide, 232 lives are lost from accidental vehicle backovers each year – most of them being young children. In addition, more than 13,000 children will visit an emergency room for serious injuries caused by a vehicle pulling forward or backing up onto them each year.

These unfortunate accidents typically happen in a homeowner’s driveway, an apartment parking lot, or a community living complex and caused when the driver backing up is not able to see a child behind the vehicle. In more than 70% of these incidents, a parent or close relative is the driver behind the wheel. Just above half of these backover incidents involve a larger vehicle like a truck, van, or SUV in children younger than 5-years-old, predominantly 1-year-olds, the age group at the most risk. Children of all ages, bicyclists, and many elderly pedestrians, can also often become a backover victim.

Blind Spots – Every Vehicle Has Them

A blind spot, also referred to as a blind zone, is the area behind a vehicle where the driver cannot see even when turning their head and looking back, and using their rear and side view mirrors correctly. Blind spots can play a role in these incidents when a vehicle is backing out. Blind spots can also be in the front of vehicles but the blinded areas are not as big. The average blind spot zone ranges from 15 to 25 feet.

Drivers should always be aware of what is in their blind spot, and identify the zone when driving new vehicles they do not normally operate, locating blind spots even before starting the vehicle.

Practicing and teaching safety around any motor vehicle, especially those in driveways and parking lots, is an important lesson to be learned by all ages. Follow these safety tips to prevent injuries and even save lives.

Backing Out Of Driveways Safety Tips

  • Before getting into the car, walk all the way around it, to make sure children are not under or behind the car.
  • If children are outside and near the vehicle, have them stand away from the car with another adult until you have left the driveway.
  • When possible, park your car so that you can pull forward instead of having to back out. If you need to back out, check all mirrors and blind spots, and do so carefully. Repeat your checks if you are not confident.
  • Do not use the driveway for play. It is better to find a safe spot for your child that is away from all parked or moving cars.
  • Pick up any toys, bikes, chalk or other play items near the driveway that could serve as a child distraction.
  • When backing up, always turn your head to see beyond the head restraint. Do not just rely on your mirrors or a back up camera to show you what may be behind or in front of your vehicle.

Navigating Through in Parking Lots

  • When walking through a parking lot, accompany little kids when getting in and out of the car.
  • Firmly hold your child’s hand when you are around moving cars, and be sure that your child is visible to other drivers.
  • As a driver, back up slowly and continually check the rear and sides.
  • Use any technology or safety accessory, such as a backup camera, that your vehicle may provide as an extra precaution but don’t rely solely on it.
  • Even in parking lots, you should check to be sure there are no children behind or under your car before driving away.
  • Be especially careful around childcare centers and schools. Children may be difficult to see, as they are running to meet their caregivers and often distracted.

It is terrible to think that you or someone you love could be injured in a backover accident with a motor vehicle. If you find yourself in this situation and feel you may need to speak with the accident attorneys at Wagner Reese, call today: (888) 204-8440. We have a long history of helping clients recover damages regardless of whether they were involved in a car, truck, bicycle, or pedestrian backover accident. Your initial consultation will be 100 percent FREE, and you will not pay any fees unless your case is settled or won.

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