Every year, thousands of children are seriously injured or killed in backover accidents, where a driver backs up their vehicle and doesn’t see the child. On average, there are 232 deaths and 13,000 injuries due to backovers every year. Beginning next May 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will require mandatory backup cameras on all new model vehicles. The finalized requirement has been in the works for many years after much deliberation. This is reassuring to many including the car accident attorneys at Tapalian Law as we hear too often of backover accidents, which occur when a driver backs over another person without noticing- usually in a driveway or parking lot. Being smaller in stature, children are all too often the victims of these tragic accidents. In over 70% of these incidents, a parent or close relative is the driver of the vehicle. With this new regulation going into effect, it should make great strides in preventing injury and death in these types of accidents.
Children Most Common Victims in Backover Accidents
Kidsandcars.org, an organization that brings awareness to child and auto related tragedies, reports that 50 children are backed over every week in the United States because a driver could not see them. Children under age five are the most at risk and the most common age of those hurt or killed in backover incidents is one year old. These numbers are astounding and tragic. Over 60% of the backovers involve a truck, SUV, or van. Just this past weekend a toddler in Bristol, Connecticut was killed when the child’s father was moving a vehicle in the driveway. A Providence toddler was killed in 2014 when a neighbor unknowingly backed over the child while backing out of her driveway. The following month, a Barrington woman was killed when a young family member accidentally accelerated while backing up in the driveway.
Preventing Backover Accidents
New safety technology like backup cameras and sensors will go a long way in preventing unnecessary injuries and deaths, especially from backovers. However, adults must display extra caution when operating a vehicle or backing up a vehicle, especially when kids are nearby. Young children do not understand the risk of danger from being near, or behind, an automobile. Below are some additional tips from kidsandcars.org on backover prevention.
- Walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it.
- Ensure all children are in full view before moving the vehicle and that another adult is supervising them.
- Children should be holding hands with an adult, or strapped in a stroller, in parking lots.
- Teach children parking lot safety and that just because they can see the driver, doesn’t mean the driver can see them.
- Do not allow children to play in, around, or behind, a vehicle.
- Roll down the driver’s side window when backing up so you can hear if someone is warning you to stop.
- Use extra caution during extra busy or stressful times when schedules may be off such as holidays.
- More backover prevention and safety tips.
Adding Safety Technology to Older Vehicles
Contrary to what many drivers think, it is not necessary to run out and buy a brand-new vehicle to benefit from the newest safety features, such as a backup camera. It is possible to add new safety features to older vehicles. If you are adding one of these new features to an older vehicle, be sure to check out reviews or ask a trusted mechanic or body shop for recommendations. The quality of aftermarket features varies widely so be sure you are shopping smart and spending wisely. After analyzing how long you plan to keep your current vehicle and how much it will cost to add new features, you may find it makes more sense for you to invest in a new automobile that already includes updated technology.
New Safety Technology is Not a Substitute for Safe Driving
Don’t be fooled and think the new safety technology means you can coast along with no worries. Even with the added bells, beeps, and lights to warn you, drivers must stay strictly aware and vigilant of their surroundings. Having safety features doesn’t mean its ok to take your eyes off the road and not take extra precautions when backing up. These countless new features are precautionary and helpful, and of course a move in the right direction for saving lives, but not a substitute for safe driving.
Have You or Your Child Been Hurt By A Car Backing Up?
At Tapalian Law, we hope that you or a loved one is never involved in a horrific vehicle accident. However, if you, your child, or a family member were injured by the driver of a car, truck, or SUV, that was backing up, we are here to help. Providence-based accident attorney David Tapalian is a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in auto accidents and will seek maximum compensation for your damages. If you lost a family member in a Rhode Island or Massachusetts auto accident due to the fault of another, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. If your child is suffering from injuries due to a driver backing up their vehicle and not paying attention, the driver may be held accountable for their negligence. Contact car accident lawyer David Tapalian right away. It is imperative that your child, or loved one, receives top medical care and you are able to focus on caring for them throughout their recovery. Let Tapalian Law take care of the rest. We help residents in Providence and all over Rhode Island and Massachusetts recover damages for their car accident related injuries. Call Tapalian Law today for a free consultation at