Backover Accidents: Preventing Tragedies
Preventable backover accidents are responsible for injuring or killing thousands of children every year. A “backover” accident usually occurs when a vehicle is backing out of a driveway or parking spot. Drivers are encouraged to check behind their vehicles and realize that their vehicles do have “blind zones.” These are areas directly behind or around the vehicle that you will not be able to see from the driver’s seat.
Backover Facts and Statistics
• Across the U.S., at least 50 children are being backed over by vehicles each week.
• 48 of those children are treated in hospital emergency rooms.
• At least two children are fatally injured each week.
• Most victims are between the ages of 12 and 23 months old.
• Over 60 percent of backover incidents involved larger passenger vehicles, like trucks, vans and SUV’s.
• In over 70 percent of all backover incidents, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel.
Protecting Kids Around Cars
Since backover accidents are preventable, it’s important to note that there are a variety of measures and safety tips to utilize to protect children around cars. Most parents know that children should always be taught to stay away from busy streets, but what about quiet driveways and the dangers associated with parked cars? Children shouldn’t be permitted to play near parked cars. This is a recipe for disaster, especially for busy adults who may be in too much of a hurry to do a full walk around their vehicle before leaving for work or to run errands. Listed below are just a few safety tips to help prevent fatal and injury-causing backover accidents.
KidsAndCars.org’s Safety Tips
• Walk around and behind the vehicle prior to moving it.
• Know where your kids are.
• Teach children that “parked” cars might move.
• Keep toys and other sports equipment off the driveway.
• Trim landscaping around driveway for better visibility.
• Hold children’s hands when exiting vehicles.
Fatal and injury-causing backover accidents can rip families apart. Take the extra time to talk to your children about the dangers of parked cars and driveways and always make sure to check your “blind zones” before getting into your car. Drivers with large vehicles like SUV’s and trucks should pay particular attention, as they may have larger blind zones than other vehicles.