10 Ways to Save Your Child from a Backover Accident

Posted on behalf of Arnold Law Firm on Jul 31, 2015 in Auto Accidents

preventing tragedy: kids and carsDuring warm, summer weather, children head outside to ride bikes, shoot hoops, or play hide-and-seek -- often on or around driveways. Kids playing and cars in motion can be a tragic combination. It only takes a momentary lapse in supervision or a child's impulse for a backover accident to occur. The good news? Backover accidents are preventable if you follow some guidelines to keep your children safe.

What is a back-over accident?

A back-over accident happens when a vehicle backs into a pedestrian or bicyclist while pulling out of a driveway or parking space. This type of accident typically occurs at a low speed and usually involves a child. According to kidsandcars.org, the national estimate for back-over accidents is 61 per year.[i] One child is too many.

What can you do to prevent a back-over accident?

Here are ten tips:

  1. Child supervision. Maintain a close visual of your children if they are playing where vehicles are present. Even a moment of distraction could result in tragedy.
  1. Your driveway is not a playground. However, if there are no vehicles parked on the driveway and your children are going to play there, make a barrier between the driveway and the road. This way, cars cannot enter and it creates an area that is separate from the street. Let your children know that they are only allowed to play within the area you designated.
  1. Clean it up. Keep your driveway clear of toys, games, and sports equipment. Children may be less tempted to run behind a vehicle to grab a stray toy left behind.
  1. Playing around vehicles. Teach your children to never play in or around vehicles, and lock your car when not in use. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles are not toys. Children should not be hiding in or under a car or in the bed of a truck during a game of hide-and-seek.
  1. Hold young children. When someone is going to back out, hold your preschooler or toddler to prevent them from running away.
  1. Older children can stand to one side. Instruct older children who listen well to stand away from the driveway where the driver can see them. Stress how important it is to never run behind or after a friend or relative's If they urgently need to get the driver's attention, they can wave their arms or jump up and down from a safe distance.
  1. Make assumptions. Assume children may be around prior to backing up in your vehicle. Check if they are playing on your street as you approach your car. Look underneath it and walk around it to ensure children (or pets!) are not using your car as a hiding place.
  1. Blind spots. If you are driving a truck or large SUV, blind spots can be larger than in smaller vehicles. Regardless of the size of your vehicle, turn your head around to look before backing up, and do not rely on mirrors alone.
  1. Slow down. After looking around you, back up slowly. For better observation, keep your vehicle radio turned off, and roll your window down if possible. Be prepared to stop immediately if a child dashes behind your vehicle.
  1. Back-up safety systems. Back-up safety systems with a rearview video system will give you a wide-angle view of everything behind your car. Other systems have motion sensors that beep if something is behind your vehicle. While this technology may improve safety, do not rely on back-up safety systems alone to prevent a back-over accident. When backing up a vehicle, always be observant and follow the recommendations above.

Why contact a personal injury attorney?

Taking the time to slow down and follow these guidelines may mean the difference between life and death. When another persons neglect or carelessness causes you or a loved one injury from a car accident, contact the Arnold Law Firm to see how you can take legal action.

The Arnold Law Firm offers Free Case Evaluation by filling out a simple form online or by calling (916) 777-7777. Reach out to a dedicated legal team who can help you determine your best course of action.

[i] http://www.kidsandcars.org/national-statistics.html

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