In San Diego many devastating backover car accidents can be avoided with safe driving and use of a backup rear-view camera. Vehicle backover injuries and deaths occur when someone, without a driver’s knowledge or awareness, is positioned behind a vehicle as the driver is backing out of a driveway or other parking spot. Most victims of backovers are the elderly and children. The U.S. Department of Transportation says that more than 210 people are killed every year in accidents caused by backing up – also known as “backover” accidents and an additional 15,000 individuals are further injured. Children are the most susceptible to backover accidents, sadly accounting for thirty-one percent of all backover fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued its final rule to require all new light vehicles — including cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans — to have “rear-view visibility systems,” in effect, requiring backup cameras. Under the rule, all vehicles would have to give the driver a view 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. The rule would start phasing in on May 1, 2016, new care models and be at 100% of new cars by May 1, 2018.
The rule was instituted as a result of an outcry from consumer groups and families touched by back-over accidents. The agency anticipates the requirement of backup cameras will significantly reduce backover crashes involving children, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and other pedestrians who currently have the highest risk associated with backover crashes. According to a report published by the NHTSA in December 2010, rear-view cameras could cut the fatalities and injuries in half. The NHTSA further estimates that 58 to 69 lives will be saved each year once the entire on-road vehicle fleet has rear-view systems.
The problems with this solution is 1) it is not immediate and 2) it does not protect our families from car accidents caused by negligent drivers. A complete transition of all cars on the road to have rear-view cameras is not expected to occur until about 2054.
So what can we do to keep our families safe from backover injuries for the next thirty (30) years?
1) Drive Safely and Backup Slowly: When you are in a neighborhood, at a local park after the T-ball game or in an area where you know there are likely to be children always take extra caution by backing slowly with your windows down.
2) Always Check Behind Your Vehicle: Always check behind your vehicle before backing out of the driveway or parking space. Take extra caution on steep downhill driveways.
3) Teach children not to play in, under, or around vehicles — ever.
4) Back-up Camera or Back-Up Alarm: If affordable for your family, have a backup camera installed on your vehicle. Another more cost feasible option is to have a backup alarm installed on your vehicle.
5) Adjustable Blind Spot Mirror: Vehicle owners can purchase a small inexpensive adjustable blind spot mirror placed in the corner of your existing side mirror which can give you an advantage when backing up.
Please take caution in driving to protect the public and more importantly your children from backover car accident injuries. A simple two-second check behind the vehicle can be a lifesaver. If you or your loved one is injured in an accident, contact our personal injury attorneys to discuss your case.