By the year 2018, automakers will be required to install backup cameras in most new vehicles. This news comes from a many-years-long campaign to reduce backover accidents, accidents that injure and kill as many as 210 children and seniors each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finalized this ruling requirement for cars, particularly SUVs and minivans. Even better news is that the feature will not break the bank . Costing only $140 per vehicle, and even less for those vehicles that already have in-dash displays, the results could be significant in reducing over 50 percent of deaths caused by backovers each year.
A backover accident is a tragic and devastating event. When someone backs out of a parking space or garage, the speed of the vehicle is generally very slow. However, that speed can still be deadly when a toddler is hit. A slight bump is felt by the driver, and by then it is too late. What happened? Sadly, the visibility from a rear view mirror does not capture the majority of the space that needs to be seen by the driver, especially if that object or child is under two or three feet tall.
Unfortunately, backover accidents have occurred many times over the years, and the news about backup cameras comes too late for many families. No matter how hard we try, accidents happen that involve our children. What are some tips you can practice to ensure that you are not involved in a backover accident, or that your child does not become a victim? As a driver, you can practice backing out of your garage and driveway with a cone behind you: practice until you do not hit the cone. Review your distance and practice turning your head in different ways so that you can see all objects that you might not otherwise catch if you backed out in a hurry. Practice until your hypersensitivity becomes the norm. As a parent, here’s what you can teach your children by instructing them to:
- Never run after or in front of a car or other vehicle
- Never play in driveways
- Stay close to an adult when walking in or near a parking lot
- Keep toys out of the driveway and clean up when playtime is over
The situation is bad enough when your child is hit by a car; that feeling is magnified if the child is involved in a backover. Chances are the driver never saw the child, and that driver could be you. If you or someone you know has lost a child due to a backover accident, understanding what may have happened and how it could have been prevented will never ease the pain. However, seeking counsel of an attorney who is involved with personal injury cases involving children is the first place to start toward settling your mind and your case.