Back-Over Vehicle Accidents

This year alone, in 2014, I have written about at least 2 back-over vehicle accidents in my blog, and referenced another in my website in which I was intimately familiar. This is not including all of the back-over vehicle accidents that I have read about this year alone. All of these accidents have few key things in common: 1.) They could have prevented; 2.) The Victim was a child; and 3.) It was usually a relative that backed-over the victim.

It has been reported that thousands of children, usually under the age of 5 with toddlers age 0-2 being at the most risk, are injured in back-over accidents each year with 100, or 10% of them, being killed in such tragic accidents. It has also been reported that the person who usually is the one who has backed over the child is a relative whether it be the mother, father, a grandparent, or someone the child knew.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a back-over accident of any sort, then please Contact Us as soon as possible for your free legal consultation as we have represented many people in these types of incidents, and it is imperative that you receive the proper legal attention that your case deserves when such a tragedy has struck.

Since it has become well known that back-over accidents can be prevented, it is important to know how these incidents happen and what preventative measures each of us can take to prevent such tragedies.

1.) Where Does a Back-over Accident usually Take Place?  Not surprisingly, the majority of these incidents happen in a residential sideway or driveway, or in a parking lot.

2.) Why is that Younger Children are the Majority of the Victims? We can't see young children most of the time out of our rearview mirror or out of the back of our windows since they are so small. Plus, children don’t understand the rules of the road and are very vulnerable and may not realize that they are in harms way when behind a vehicle whether the vehicle is moving or not.

3.) I have heard of the “Bye-Bye” Syndrome; what is that? Very often, smaller children will quickly leave the house to say or wave bye-bye to a relative such as a parent or a grandparent when they are leaving. Unfortunately, the driver does not see the young child in this event.  

4.) Are there Specific Types of Vehicles that are Involved in these Accidents? Every vehicle has a blind spot and, therefore, every vehicle could be the cause of a back-over accident. Furthermore, if the driver is shorter, then the blind spot is bigger. Later, we will discuss how to determine what your blind spot is for you and your vehicle.

5.) Even though Every Vehicle has a Blind Spot, are there Some that Have a Blind Spot that is More Big than Other Vehicles? Yes, just as it is the general rule that the shorter the driver, the bigger the blind spot, it is also recognized that the larger the vehicle the larger the blind spot. In fact, Kids and Cars has stated that over 60% of back-over accidents have involved a larger size vehicle.

6.) What about the Sound of the Vehicle, are Quieter Vehicles more likely than not to be Involved in a Back-over Accident? Yes, with the growing popularity of cars such as hybrids, it has been duly noted that the more quiet the vehicle, the higher the risk of this type of incident.

7.) What Can You Do To Help Prevent an Accident such as this?  The best defense against this type of accident is to either get out of your car before backing up and look behind your vehicle or, before you get into your vehicle, look behind your vehicle to make sure there is not anything in your way and that it is clear to back up. The best practice also includes walking all the way around your vehicle and looking down the street or sidewalk to make sure no children are present who are not aware of you and verify that they are away from your vehicle and ask them to move away from the vehicle, so that you can clearly see them before backing up.

We must also teach our children not to walk behind vehicles whether moving or not unless they are with an adult who is paying full attention and has a hold of them. Make sure that your landscape and any other potential obstructions of your vision from your driveway are monitored and dealt with accordingly so they are not an obstruction of your vision.

8.) I have heard about Rearview Cameras, can these cameras be of Assistance? In some cases, yes, these types of cameras can be of assistance. These review view cameras do have limitations, however.

9.) If there are Limitations of these types of Camera, then what are the Limitations? Although Rearview cameras can be of assistance, they are not a substitute for getting out of your car as described herein above and teaching our children about the dangers of being around vehicles that has been discussed herein. Don’t become complacent just because you have a Rearview camera on your vehicle.

10.) I have heard about these Sensor-Based Systems, what are they and what do they do? A Sensor based system sends an audible signal to the driver alerting the driver if there is an object that is near the vehicle. These systems are generally used to aid in parking and not to detect children behind the vehicle. In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that the performance of sensor-based systems in detecting children behind a vehicle is “typically poor, sporadic and limited in range.”

There is some great news on the horizon, however, as on March 31, 2014, NHTSA issued a final rule requiring rear visibility technology in all new passenger vehicles and light truck and buses under 10,000 pounds by May 2018 to reduce the risk of death and serious injuries caused by back-over accidents. The rule requires that the new vehicles come equipped with rear visibility technology that expands the field of view directly behind the vehicle to include a 10-foot by 20-foot zone that will enable the driver to detect areas behind the vehicle. The system must also meet other requirements including image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation.

Another great tool is to Learn what the BlindZone measurement is for your vehicle as Consumer Reports have measured the blind-zones of a number of popular vehicle models. The results for both an average-height driver (5 feet 8 inches) and a shorter driver (5 feet 1 inch) are listed in the accompanying charts.

Regardless of the technology, as we have stated previously, the best practice is to either get out of your vehicle or, before getting into your vehicle, check behind it and all around it to make sure that there are no children present. If there are children present, then make sure that they are aware of you and that they are away from the vehicle and that you see them as you are backing up. It is also imperative to educate our children to the dangers of being around vehicles and how to prevent back over accidents.

As we stated earlier, if you or a loved one has been involved in a back-over accident then we are truly sorry for this terrible incident and know that you may Contact Us at any time by any or all of the following means for more information and for your free legal consultation by phone at (770) 865-8654 and (813) 363-6664, by email at juliericelaw@outlook.com, and/or on the Contact Form on our website. We are here to assist you in your time of need and to provide as much information as possible so these tragedies become a thing of the past.