Backover accidents generally occur in driveways and in parking lots. They involve situations in which a driver reverses to pull out of their parking space, hitting someone walking or standing behind them. These accidents can result in serious and life-threatening personal injuries. Anyone can be a victim, but children are among those most at risk.
According to national statistics, approximately 50 children are backed over by vehicles every week. At least two of those children die from their injuries. More than half of these backing up accidents involve large vehicles, such as vans or trucks, with the driver claiming they never saw the child. Even more tragic is that in 70 percent of these accidents, the driver is a close family member or relative of the child.
Many vehicles now feature video monitors that show activity behind your car through a dashboard display. While these systems can help to prevent injuries, they are not foolproof, making it important for all drivers to be aware of the dangers.
Backover Accidents and Video Monitoring Systems
Rear-facing, collision avoidance video monitoring systems show you any other vehicles or pedestrians that are behind your vehicle. If your car is not equipped with one of these devices, you can buy one and install it yourself. Consumer Reports (CR) claims that these ‘add ons’ are often just as effective as those installed by automobile manufacturers, but the system itself is not foolproof.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that as many 8,000 people are injured each year as a result of backovers, while nearly 200 others die as a result of their injuries. One of the reasons these accidents are so common is that drivers often underestimated the size of the blind spot behind their vehicle. This area is roughly 30 feet for a midsize car or minivan, increasing up to 50 feet for a larger vehicle or truck, which often exceeds the range of a monitoring system.
Preventing Backover Accidents
Backover accidents often impact children. Two children are killed and another 48 are injured each week in the U.S. due to backovers and adding to the heartbreak is the fact that the person operating the vehicle is often a parent, neighbor, or other loved one.
Children engaged in play may not think twice about running behind a vehicle to say goodbye to a parent or to chase a ball. The website SaferCar.gov advises parents to follow these tips to help prevent a tragedy from occurring:
- Warn your children about the dangers of playing in or around parked cars.
- Always check the area around the outside of your car before getting in.
- If you live in an area with small children, use particular caution. The smaller the child, the less likely you are to see them.
- Look behind you thoroughly when backing up, rolling down a window if necessary. Continue looking behind you as you pull out of the space.
- If your car is not equipped with a backup monitor, consider installing one.
Call Our Office for Help
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a backover accident, contact Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn right away. Whether the victim is a child or an adult, they can suffer serious injuries and may be entitled to compensation as a result. Our legal team has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. Contact our dedicated North Carolina car accident attorney today and request a free and confidential consultation to see how we can help.