Every Denver accident attorney has seen a situation in which, despite a person’s best intentions, their actions cause injury to others. Nowhere are these cases more tragic than when a person who loves and cares for children accidentally causes them harm. One of the easiest ways to injure a child is in an accidental “backover” accident – but these are also some of the easiest accidents to prevent.
“Backover” accidents occur when a driver runs into or over another person while moving the vehicle in reverse. Often, a backover accident occurs because the driver didn’t see the person behind the vehicle until it was too late. Thousands of Americans are involved in backover accidents every year, and the majority of those injured are children, according to Kids and Cars.
Backover Accidents by the Numbers
Here are some of the major statistics on backover accidents:
- Most backover accident victims are 12 to 23 months old.
- Over 60 percent of backover accidents involve a large passenger vehicle: a truck, minivan, or SUV.
- 70 percent of backover accidents involve a parent or close relative who backs over a child.
- Each year, over 2,400 children need emergency room treatment for injuries caused by a backover accident. Over 100 children each year die as a result of the injuries they suffered in a backover accident.
Preventing Backover Accidents
Backover accidents are on the rise. As passenger vehicles get larger, seeing the entire distance around the vehicle becomes more difficult. Small children are easily lost in the vehicle’s “blind zones,” both because they are shorter than the average person and because they often don’t understand the importance of staying away from vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is taking steps to prevent backover accidents by enforcing new standards for backup cameras and other visibility features in new vehicles. Even drivers of older vehicles without backup cameras, however, can help prevent backover accidents by practicing the following safety tips:
- Walk all the way around a vehicle before moving it.
- Before starting the vehicle, make all the children in the area move to a place where you can see them. Make sure another adult is supervising the children before you put the vehicle in gear.
- Teach children to stay away from vehicles, even when they are parked. Remind them that a parked vehicle can move and that the driver of the vehicle may not see them.
- When getting out of a car, hold the hands of children. Double-check to ensure all kids are out of the car before locking it. Never leave a child alone in or around a vehicle, and always keep vehicles locked.
- Set the emergency brake to prevent a parked vehicle from slipping out of gear and rolling, which can cause injuries.
- Keep toys and sports equipment off the driveway, so that kids will not be tempted to enter the driveway to get them.
If you or someone you love is injured in a backover accident, contact Levine Law. Our experienced Denver accident attorneys will help you protect your legal rights and fight for the compensation you need.