Whether you’re parallel parking, backing in or out of a spot, or leaving your driveway, driving in reverse is a common vehicle maneuver. Just like with any other maneuver, accidents can happen. Some collisions, unfortunately, result in serious injuries or worse. If you’ve been injured in a backover accident, our Nebraska car accident lawyers are can provide you with the legal guidance you need and deserve.
Defining Backover Accidents
Backover car or truck accidents occur when a driver operates their vehicle in reverse and unknowingly backs into or over someone else. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are at least half a million backing accidents of some type every year in the United States. Of those 500,000 collisions, 15,000 result in injuries and there are over 200 deaths.
These events, especially when speed is a significant factor, can result in serious injuries or death. Many individuals involved are often on foot or riding bicycles. It’s also more common for victims to be children under the age of five. Of all the backover accident fatalities, 31 percent of the victims are five years of age or younger. This is often because of a child’s size. The elderly are also at risk of being struck by a reversing vehicle because they may not have the time to respond appropriately.
There are two types of backover accidents. The first occurs when a driver strikes a person or object and stops near the point of impact. The second happens when the driver moves past the point of impact and potentially knocks the person or object underneath the vehicle. The latter often results in more serious injuries. The most frequently sustained injuries are broken bones, sprains, neck damage, soft tissue damage, and lacerations.
Understanding Why Backover Accidents Happen
Most backover collisions happen when a pedestrian is behind a vehicle in the driver’s blind spot, even if the driver uses their rear and side view mirrors. Parking spaces and driveways are common locations for these wrecks to happen. The average blind spot it 15 to 25 feet behind a vehicle. Shorter drivers and larger vehicles have even larger blind spots. Sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks are also more likely to be involved in these types of accidents because of the possible driver visibility issues.
There are a variety of other factors that contribute to the high number of backover accident. Those include:
- Children who are unmonitored and do not understand the danger of a slow-moving vehicle
- Children who tend to be impulsive and do not recognize boundaries
- Children who do not want to be left alone by the driver that is backing up
- Drivers who do not realize how large or dangerous their blind spot is
- Hybrid or electric vehicles, which tend to be considerably quieter than traditional vehicles
Preventing Backover Accidents
The NHTSA provides drivers with tips to prevent backover accidents and protect children from being seriously injured:
- Teach children it’s not a good idea to play in or around cars.
- When around vehicles, make sure children are supervised.
- As a driver, always walk around your vehicle and check the area before backing up.
- Be aware of any small children nearby.
- Teach children to stand in an area away from a reversing vehicle.
- Make sure to look behind you and back up slowly, in case you need to stop unexpectedly.
- Take extra care while backing up if you drive a large vehicle, to compensate for the larger blind spots. You may even want to roll down your windows, so you can hear what’s happening outside your vehicle.
- Remind children to keep their toys and bicycles out of the driveway.
- Drivers should actively check their mirrors while in reverse.
- Avoid solely relying on a vehicle’s backup camera or warning sounds. While these devices are useful, they’re not as beneficial as actually walking around the vehicle to ensure no pedestrians are nearby.
Backover accidents are more common than people may realize, and they can result in serious harm to the individual being struck. If you or a loved one have been the victim of such a wreck, it’s likely you’ll have to deal with piling medical bills and lost wages while you’re trying to focus on your recovery. That’s where we come in.
At Welsh & Welsh, our attorneys are prepared to dedicate ourselves to your case, so you receive the compensation you need to cover your bills and expenses. For more information about your rights and legal options, contact our office. We’ll answer your questions and review your claim with a free consultation, so you can decide what steps to take next.