Backover Crash Prevention
Backover incidents involving pedestrians and children are often preventable. These tragic collisions typically involve unattended children and drivers who aren’t paying attention, although it’s not uncommon for adult pedestrians to be victims too. Often times, backover crashes seriously injure or kill small children and toddlers. Many of these crashes happen when vehicles are backing out of driveways or parking spaces. Unattended children find themselves behind the cars, and drivers don’t see them before backing up.
Backover Crash Statistics and Implementation of Safety Measures
Earlier this year, CNN reported on the dangers of backover crashes. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that over 200 people are killed in backover crashes each year. Additionally, 17,000 people are injured as a result of backover crashes. Sadly, children under the age of five account for 44 percent of the fatalities. In those cases, it’s common for the driver to be a parent, guardian or family member. The CNN report outlines the controversy, delays and costs involved with making rear view cameras mandatory on all new vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hopes to raise awareness about the dangers of backover crashes. Since this type of crash is preventable, it’s important for everybody to exercise the appropriate amount of caution before backing out of driveways and parking spaces.
NHTSA’s Backover Prevention Tips
• Always walk around your vehicle before backing up.
• Be aware of small children in the vicinity.
• Teach children not to play around cars, even when they’re parked.
• Supervise children when around automobiles.
• Invest in backup-detection devices, but don’t rely on them fully.
• Roll your windows down to increase your situational awareness before backing up.
• Always look behind you while backing up, in case a child darts out.
• Exercise additional caution when driving large trucks or SUV’s due to blind spots.
• Actively check mirrors while backing up.
• Teach children to move away from cars when they’re started up.
• Teach children to stand at a safe distance when people are getting into their cars.
Even children who are taught to stay away from cars can find themselves in dangerous situations, so it’s ultimately up to every driver on the road to lookout for kids. It only takes a moment to check behind your car, and it could save a life.