Backover accidents usually occur on driveways and can be tragic. Frequently, parents reverse over their own children, causing serious injuries or deaths.
These accidents may be more prevalent than we think. According to the website KidsandCars.Org, as many as 50 backover accidents are reported every week in the United States.
Backover accidents often occur because every vehicle has a blindspot behind it that cannot be seen by mirrors. More than 60 percent of accidents involve a larger vehicle such as a truck or an SUV and the driver in about 70 percent of wrecks is a parent or an extended family member of the child who is injured.
KidsandCars.Org states there is even a name for the syndrome that makes these tragic accidents more prevalent.
It’s known as the “bye-bye syndrome.” Children don’t want to be left behind when their parents leave. When they hear the words ‘bye-bye, they may follow the person who is leaving. The driver is unaware the child has left the house and believes they are still safe indoors. The child stands behind the vehicle where they cannot be seen and is backed over.
Children are unaware of the dangers. The highest risk age for children is 12 to 23 months.
Nationally, about 232 children die every year and 13,000 are injured in these accidents.
Technology is available that can safeguard against backover accidents. Rear cameras and warning sensors are found on some vehicles. However, few manufacturers offer these as standard equipment and it could be years before they become as integral a part of a vehicle as seat-belts.
The grief of parents who lose their children in backover accidents has been compounded by the failure of regulations to force car manufacturers to remedy the blind spot issue.
The government enacted a law to mandate car manufacturers to provide rear cameras on vehicles in 2008. The law had a 2011 deadline that was not met. The date for the law to be enacted subsequently slipped back to 2018.
Accidents involving children whether they are on the highway or a driveway are always tragic. Contact the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.