Posted on June 10th, 2011 by Zane Cagle
A two-year old girl died tragically last night as the victim of a vehicle backover accident. Officials say the toddler managed to get outside of her home on her own. The child’s older cousin was behind the wheel of an SUV and did not see the child as she was in his “blindzone”. Paramedics attempted to revive the toddler but apparently there was too much damage.
According to the KidsAndCars.org organization, at least 50 children are backed over by vehicles every week. Often the drivers of the cars that back over children are close relatives. Of those average 50, 48 are usually treated in hospital emergency rooms but an average of two children die each week. Backover incidents involving children change the lives of parents, families and communities forever. The predominant age of victims of backover accidents is one year old (12-23 months). Over 60% of backing up incidents involved a large size vehicle such as a truck, van or SUV. In over 70% of these incidents, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel. An incident where a relative is behind the wheel is extra tragic for all involved according to KidsAndCars.org.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study in 2005 and discovered 2400 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year due to a child being struck by or rolled over by a vehicle moving in reverse.
So what can be learned from such a tragedy? KidsAndCars.org advocates wants to raise awareness about the dangers associated with children and cars. These tragic accidents will only increase unless we all work for better visibility behind the vehicles we drive. Currently, the government does not have any regulations about what you should be able to see behind a vehicle when backing up at this time.
Due to the fact we are driving larger, longer and higher vehicles, we are seeing more backovers as the area in which we can see is getting smaller. We urge all adults to heighten their awareness before putting their vehicle in reverse especially when children are around. Young children are impulsive, unpredictable and have poor judgment and understanding of danger. Young children do not recognize boundaries such as property lines, sidewalks, driveways or parking spaces. Toddlers are mobile but the concept of personal safety is absent. “Backovers are often the predictable consequence of a child following a parent into the driveway and standing behind their vehicle without their parent’s knowledge,” explains Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org.
*Walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it
*Know where your kids are. Make children move away from your vehicle to a place where they are in full view before moving the car and know that another adult is properly supervising children before moving your vehicle.
*Teach children that “parked” vehicles might move. Let them know that they can see the vehicle, but the drive might be able not to see them
*Consider installing cross view mirrors, audible collision detectors, rear view video camera and/or some type of back up detection device.
*Measure the size of your blind zone (area) behind the vehicle(s) you drive. A 5-foot-1-inch driver in a pickup track can have a rear blind zone of approximately 8 feet wide by 50 feet long
*Be aware that steep inclines and large SUV’s, vans and trucks add to the difficulty of seeing behind a vehicle.
Please check out KidsAndCars.org for safety information regarding backovers, front rollovers and child exposure to heat due to being left in a vehicle. As summer temperatures increase, child injuries and fatalities generally increase when they are inadvertently left in a car. Children are not just at risk in a moving car, but nontraffic fatalities of children continue to rise. Do your part to not be one of these summer stories of tragedy. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of the two-year old as it is a tragedy that devastates all. The death of a small child is always horrific but these added conditions make coping for the family more than difficult.
For more safety information, please visit our Allinjuryattorney.com blog as we continue to share information regarding child safety in areas such as child safety seats, children and animals, and child pool safety. As we continue to be concerned about everyone’s safety, it is the responsibility of all of us to look out for children that are not yet able to look out for themselves. As well, attorneys at our firm support legislation that mandates automobile makers to install safety devices. These safety measures have and will be continued to be shared in our blogs and booklets. Please call our firm if you have questions.
If you have had tragedy due to the negligence actions of another, please contact Zane T. Cagle at The Cagle Law Firm to determine your legal options. Call toll free 1.800.685.3302, or locally 314.276.1681 for your free consultation.