Backover accidents kill or seriously injure thousands of children each year. These accidents often happen when a driver is driving a vehicle in reverse gear out of a parking space or driveway and fails to see a child behind the car.
Back-up crashes pose a serious risk to children. A competent and responsible driver backing out of his or her parking space or driveway cannot assume children will act carefully while playing outside.
Child Backover Crashes Are Common and Shocking
In the United States, backover accidents cause about 13,000 injuries and 232 fatalities among children every year. Most of these crashes involve family members. While these accidents are rare on public roadways, they frequently occur in public parking lots, driveways, fast food cafes, and school areas where small children are available in large numbers.
Tips for Preventing Child Backover Injuries and Deaths
Looking Around Carefully Before Getting in the Car
Regardless of where a car is parked, the driver should walk around it and check under it before jumping behind the wheel and start to drive it. If kids are playing around, the driver should count them and ensure he or she can see all of them before backing out.
The driver should strive to remain alert as much as possible. He or she should keep the radio off and windows open to hear and see what’s happening around him or her.
Preparing to Stop if Necessary
An accident can happen in a fraction of a second. The driver should, therefore, back out carefully and with full control of the vehicle. He or she should be prepared to stop immediately if necessary.
Avoiding Relying on Cameras and Sensors Only
While cameras and sensors installed on SUVs and other huge vehicles are extremely useful, numerous controlled tests have shown that they are not entirely reliable when it comes to sensing kids playing or crossing behind the car. What’s more, relying too much on such safety technology makes drivers complacent and inattentive to their surroundings, increasing the odds of child backovers happening.
Educating Children on the Dangers of Playing Near Cars
To reduce the risk of backover accidents, parents should ensure their kids are aware of the risks of playing near any type of automobile. Children should also use caution when walking or riding their bicycles near driveways, parking spaces, or in between cars.