I was recently reading the book Out Of My Mind to my son. It’s the story of a young girl who is brilliant, but who can’t communicate with others because she was born with cerebral palsy. One of the most difficult “scenes” in the book is when (SPOILER ALERT HERE), the young girl sees her little sister walk behind their car, but the girl can’t communicate this to her mother, who backs into the sister.
This is a scenario that scares me daily as I’m walking through parking lots with my kids. Though I preach to them to be aware, my kids don’t understand that the rear windows of most trucks, SUVs, and minivans are too high for their drivers to see any kids walking by.
This is a real problem throughout the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 228 people die and 17,000 are injured each year in backover accidents. Well over half of those fatalities are in children, and seventy percent of those are backed over by a parent or close relative, with one-year-olds being the most hit.
Fortunately, backup cameras can greatly help reduce the risk of backover accidents. These cameras, which are now available in almost half of the 2012 new cars, allow drivers to see children and other objects that are behind them. These mirrors may also become more popular due to federal government regulations. In 2008, then President Bush signed legislation that would require manufacturers to include that the cameras be required in new vehicles. That requirement is expected to be issued by the end of the year.
In the meantime, keep an eye on your kids and an eye out for other kids to help decrease the risks of these tragedies.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a backover accident, please feel free to call us. Victims of backover accidents may make recoveries against the other driver, but may also have claims against uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance policies.
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