Vehicle backover accidents occur when someone, without a driver’s knowledge or awareness, is positioned behind a vehicle as the driver is backing out of a driveway or other parking spot. Most victims of backovers are the elderly and children. To add to the tragedy of backover injuries and deaths, the driver is often a neighbor or relative. When a child is the victim, the driver may even be the child’s mother or father.
As Orlando car accident lawyers, we believe awareness and understanding of the problem are the first steps toward reducing the risk of backover deaths. Sadly, many drivers fail to realize that there is a large “blindspot” behind one’s car. The blind spot is the place behind your vehicle that you cannot see in the rear or side view mirrors — or even by craning your neck out the driver’s side window. The larger the vehicle, like an SUV or truck, the larger the blind spot.
Blind spots for shorter drivers tend to be significantly larger as well. In addition, the elevation of the driver’s seat, the shape of a vehicle’s windows and mirrors, and the slope of a driveway can affect the size of the blind spot behind a vehicle. Of course, the smaller stature of children can make them particularly difficult for a driver to see when backing up. So how do you protect a child from becoming a victim of backover?
Keeping your children out of harm’s way requires ongoing education, supervision, and vigilance. There simply is no single fail-safe solution. However, safety experts advise teaching children not to play around vehicles that parents should always assume children are present and carefully check the street, driveway, and area around your vehicle before backing out. Finally, look behind you as you back out S-L-O-W-L-Y with your windows rolled down to listen for children who may have dashed behind your vehicle suddenly — and be prepared to stop!