Backover Accident and Injury Lawyers in New York City
Backover Accidents are the Worst Nightmare for Any Parent
A backover accident is a horrible experience, for those who are left behind as family of the victim, as well as for those who are driving the vehicle. A backover accident is exactly as it states: when a vehicle that is backing up strikes someone or something that is standing, walking, sitting or positioned in any way behind that vehicle. Backover accidents are seen on jobsites in the construction and manufacturing industries—and in our own driveways when a child is hit. No matter how you experience a backover accident, the aftermath is a devastating situation from which one never recovers.
Facts About Backover Accidents
The organization kidsandcars.org features statistics, stories and prevention techniques regarding backover accidents, and reports that there are at least 50 children each week who are backed over—a staggering statistic. At least two of those children are fatally injured. Unfortunately, the driver of over 70% of these vehicles is a parent, relative or someone else closely known to the child. A parent or relative who has backed over a small child will never be the same. Children ages 0-2 years old fall in the high risk category. That includes children who are placed in strollers or car seats and positioned for but a brief moment while a parent loads or unloads the rest of the vehicle—and forgets where the baby is positioned. No matter how sure parents are in knowing where their child is every minute of the day, a backover accident is the one accident that leaves many questioning their parenting skills and their futures.
The Crippling Effects of Backover Accidents
Sadly, many of the drivers who back over a child barely realize that they have hit someone. The child is generally not tall enough for a driver to see from the rear view or side mirrors. Once hit, the child falls while the vehicle continues to move. Children who are knocked to the asphalt or cement suffer debilitating and deadly head injuries and skull fractures. Other children have been dragged by a vehicle if a body part or piece of clothing becomes caught on a part of the vehicle. Children are crushed and rolled over by tires if the vehicle moves in a different direction And many, many parents and relatives never recover from the guilt that consumes them for the rest of their lives. It is not surprising that suicide rates are high among parents and relatives of these children.
The Causes and Prevention of Backover Accidents
Most drivers are aware of blind spots on their cars. A blind spot prohibits the driver from seeing what is in the range of where the vision should be, but does not cover the area below the line of vision. A blind spot on a vehicle is largely the cause of backover accidents. As a general rule, the bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. In fact, the average blind spot in a small sedan-sized vehicle is 12 x 24 feet, and the average blind spot in a minivan could reach as big as 15 x 26 feet. Imagine not being able to see anything in that large of a space when you are backing out of a parking space. A child fits right in that space, with space to spare, completely unseen by any driver.
Backover accidents occur when a child runs after a ball or runs to say goodbye to a parent. Some children are left in a stroller or car seat while parents focus on other activities, such as loading the car or removing groceries. Here are some tips that parents can use to ensure the safety of their children, without making a fatal mistake that leads to further statistics:
- Be sure your child can be seen—preferably in front of you—before backing out of any space or driveway.
- Purchase a car with a camera, proximity signal, rear-view camera, or other back-up detection device.
- Pay particular attention to your children in parking lots, such as those at mega- superstores, where drivers who might not be used to having children around might not pay that extra bit of attention.
- Be aware of your vehicle’s blind spot. The larger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot.
- Check your mirrors again and again. Go around your car and look for your child—before you back out of the space.
- Demonstrate to your child the importance of never running after a car, no matter how important the news might be. Children will do what they see, and if they see mom running after the car because dad forgot his lunch, they might mimic the action.
- Make sure all toys and objects are removed from behind the car.
- Trim landscaping around your driveway so that visibility is much better.
- Practice driving with a cone behind you; keep practicing until you do not hit the cone. Place it in various locations behind the vehicle until you are expert at backing out without hitting.
- Remind children that just because they can see a vehicle does not mean the driver of the vehicle can see them.
- Engage in legislation that supports the installation of camera devices in vehicles; become a supporter of child safety in backover accidents.
The Future of Backover Accident Prevention
A push for a redefinition of the term “blind spot” to the term “blind zone” has become a mission of kidsandcars.org. The group feels that the term “blind zone” more broadly defines the space as the several feet of distance where a driver does not see what is behind the car. With “spot” implicating that there is just one part of the rear view that must be watched, “zone” more appropriately reflects a bigger area. In addition to the push toward redefining the those terms is the push for the installation of rear-view cameras and detection devices in all cars. The downside of implementing these cameras and devices as mandatory is that drivers may become too reliant on those features. An accident could still occur, especially if the feature is faulty or disengages. Many vehicle manufacturers are looking at added features for some of their newly-issued vehicles, and offering better options for consumers.
Legal Help for Injury or Death Related to Backover Accidents in New York City
Many organizations and agencies offer assistance and resources for the prevention of backover accidents, and make it their mission to urge and increase public awareness so that these devastating injuries can be avoided. If you, your child or someone you know was involved in a backover accident, your first step should be to consult a Manhattan attorney at Finz & Finz, P.C., The renowned personal injury attorneys at the firm will be able to assist you in your case, regardless of where you are in the process. We invite you to call toll free now at (855) TOP-FIRM to speak with a personal injury lawyer or simply fill out the Free Backover Accident and Injury Case Evaluation Form with no obligation.