I’ve written this before, but few things cause me as much stress as walking in a parking lot with my kids. I am scared to death that a car backing out of a parking space won’t be able to see them. They’re 12 and 9 now so they’re getting older and bigger, but even for them, there are still a number of large trucks or SUVs that are designed so that their drivers, when looking out the back window, can’t see my kids, much less younger kids.
Unfortunately, it’s often a deadly problem.
Today, Yahoo had a cover story about the issue. The story centers on the tragic case of Judy Nieman, who accidentally backed up in a bank parking lot and ran over her 9 year old daughter, killing her. Sadly, Ms. Nieman isn’t alone. Every year, there are an estimated 228 fatal backing crashes every year with another 17,000 other injuries.
That’s too many.
The government has passed laws mandating that new vehicles have backup cameras, which are generally effective at reducing these wrecks (when the cameras are actually used — that’s another problem). Unfortunately, federal regulators have repeatedly pushed back the deadlines for the effective date of the laws.
That means its up to us to protect our kids. We have to be vigilant about watching for backing up cars and walking next to our children so that at least we’re visible to drivers. And when we’re driving, we need to be cautious about backing up ourselves.
Because for now, our vigilance is the only thing that will prevent future backing crashes in parking lots.