Some types of car accidents garner a lot of media attention. Rollover collisions, drunk driving crashes, and wrong-way head-on accidents are all heavily covered by news outlets in the greater Phoenix area, and as a result, most drivers are aware of how dangerous these incidents can be. However, accidents that happen at slow speeds tend to get less publicity so many people think that they do not cause a lot of damage or cause injuries.
The truth is much darker. Tragically, any type of collision can cause serious harm, and among them, accidents involving children or minors are particularly devastating. Children of all ages, but especially those under five years old, are at an unusually high risk for being involved in a backover car accident while in Maricopa County.
Backovers are so prevalent that an average of 50 children are involved in these collisions each week in the United States, causing an average of 13,000 injuries annually and approximately 232 deaths.
These unfortunate accidents continue to happen and continue to affect countless lives in the Phoenix area for several reasons. All cars have a blind spot behind them from the bottom of a rear windshield to the ground and extending several feet behind the vehicle. The specific make and model of a vehicle as well as the size will determine how large or small the blind spot is, but regardless, every vehicle has a rear blind spot. Young children are small enough that they can be completely concealed within this blind spot even if they are standing, walking, or running. That means that even if a driver looks before and while she is reversing, she may be incapable of seeing a young child behind her car.
Children also fail to understand the dangers of cars, primarily those that are moving. They do not realize that a slowly backing car can present a danger to them and often, they believe if they can see a car, the driver can see them and will not hit them as a result. Further, children are less likely to respect the space that a car needs to back up and may run into the path of a moving vehicle to chase a toy or simply to get to the other side, not realizing that doing so can be extremely dangerous.
Young children are not capable of being in charge of their own safety so it is always the responsibility of an adult driver to avoid backover accidents at all times. The best way to do that is to utilize a backup camera, a safety device that is now common in many new vehicles and that will be required nationally in a few years. If your car is not equipped with a backup camera, always physically look behind your vehicle while outside of the car so that you can see the entire field of the blind spot before you enter your car and begin to back. Note the location of small children before you move your car and if they are nearby, make sure another adult keeps the children away from your vehicle’s path while it moves.
If you, your child, or someone you love was injured in a backover accident in Arizona, know that you may be entitled to financial compensation for the damages you suffered, including medical expenses and pain and suffering. If a collision causes a victim to lose his or her life, the surviving family members of that victim may be entitled to relief, though no amount of money can ever be considered adequate in those cases. However, you must act within a time period specified by law or your right to seek relief may be permanently barred.
Prior Blog Entry:
Trucking Accident Deaths are Increasing in America, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 13, 2016.
Backover Fact Sheet, KidsAndCars.org