Whether it’s due to drunk driving, speeding, or simply not paying attention, car accidents happen every day no matter the time of year. One of the most devastating types of motor vehicle accidents is a backover accident. Instances where a driver backs over something or someone are somewhat prevalent, happening nearly 50 times per week across the country. In order to help prevent others from harm, below we explain why these car accidents occur and the safety measures you can take to protect those around you.
What is a Backover Accident?
A backover accident is a type of motor vehicle accident wherein a vehicle hits a pedestrian while it is backing up. These collisions frequently occur in driveways or parking lots and result in pedestrian victims suffering injury and/or death. Even worse, the majority of these tragedies can be prevented if drivers take appropriate precautions when driving their vehicles in reverse.
Most backover accidents happen when the pedestrian is in a driver’s blind spot. The average blind spot is 15 to 25 feet behind a vehicle. Larger vehicles – such as an SUV, van, or truck – typically have larger blind spots due to their size. These larger and more cumbersome vehicles cause up to 60% of backover accidents.
Young children and the elderly are most at risk of being hit in a backover accident. According to data collected by national nonprofit KidsAndCars.org, children under age five are at the highest risk for backover injury or death. When children are the victims, a parent or close relative is likely the one unknowingly backing over them—typically in a driveway. Other factors that contribute to backover accidents include:
- A driver not realizing how large their blind spot is.
- A pedestrian walking behind a car in reverse in a busy parking lot.
- Children not wanting to be left alone that follow behind a parent, family member, or caregiver.
- Children not understanding the danger of a slowly moving vehicle.
- Children not recognizing certain boundaries, such as sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots.
Preventing Backover Accidents
Each time a driver gets behind the wheel of their vehicle, certain steps need to be taken to prevent backover accidents, including:
Check the vehicle perimeter
No matter your location, take the time to walk around and check underneath the vehicle for obstacles before getting in to prevent pedestrians from getting hurt. In the event there are children nearby, let them or other adults know to watch out.
Turn down music, roll down windows, and avoid potential distractions to ensure the area around the vehicle is clear. Active listening can help prevent accidents, as it is sometimes easier to hear something or someone before seeing them.
Review potential blind spots
Unfortunately, even if the vehicle’s mirrors are properly adjusted, every car has blind spots on the sides and directly behind the bumper. These blind spots can vary in size depending on the size, length, and height of the vehicle.
Back out slowly
When reversing, it’s important to take your time no matter the situation. Drivers never know what could already be behind them, and this can be especially true in busy parking lots where a pedestrian could unsuspectingly be walking behind a vehicle, unaware it is backing out.
Houston Backover Accident Attorney
Backover accidents can be incredibly tragic. If a reversing vehicle hits a pedestrian, they may suffer grave injury or even death. Depending on the circumstances, the driver can be held liable for the resulting damages. Ramsey Law Group has helped hundreds of clients fight to obtain maximum compensation from drivers and their insurance companies. If you or someone you know were injured due to the negligence of another driver backing up, contact us today for more information on how we can help you.