Auto accidents are common in Georgia and throughout the United States, but some of the most horrific of these incidents occur surprisingly close to our own homes. Many times accidents happen right in our own neighborhoods and driveways. These accidents usually occur in the form of backovers and frontovers. These types of incidents most commonly cause injuries and deaths to toddlers and young children. It has been estimated that backovers alone account for 45 percent of non-traffic crash fatalities and 20 percent or non-traffic injuries to children.
Backovers occur when a driver backs up and doesn’t see the child behind the vehicle. These usually occur when a vehicle backs out of a parking spot or driveway. In the United States alone, approximately 50 children are backed over by automobiles each week. Frontovers are the exact opposite of backovers, in that they occur when children are struck when the driver is moving forward and does not see them in front of the car. The “blind zone” for automobiles can extend up to eight feet in front and 50 feet in the rear.
Even more heartbreaking is the fact that a majority of the children injured in frontovers and backovers were struck by vehicles being driven by relatives and loved ones. Many times, children do not want their parents or loved ones to leave them, so they follow them. Young children’s play areas are often near where vehicles are parked. Adults may miscommunicate and misunderstand where the child is, the driver assuming the child is safe with another adult. This puts them in a dangerous position because most adults do not expect their children to be able to do such a thing. SUVs and large vehicles are the most at risk for these types of accidents, but any motor vehicle has blind zones.
Due to the increase in the number of frontover and backover accidents in the United States, our Marietta personal injury attorneys have established a list of tips aimed towards protecting young children and toddles from these types of accidents:
- Make a complete circle around the vehicle before moving it. You should not only look for children, but anything that might attract their attention beside or beneath the automobile. Move these things to a safe place away from the vehicle prior to getting in and starting the engine.
- Be fully aware of where all children are before moving a vehicle. Ensure that you can see each child present before starting the engine and moving the automobile. Another adult should be supervising them to make sure they stay where they are.
- Educate children from a young age about the dangers associated with all vehicles, both parked and moving. They should understand that even a parked vehicle has the potential to move and that although they can see the automobile, the driver may not be able to see them. Children should be aware that playing near, in, or around automobiles is not allowed.
- Install backup warning devices, rearview cameras, cross view mirrors, and other detection devices to ensure your blind zones are covered.
- Always accompany children and hold their hands when entering and exiting vehicles.
- Always set the emergency brake on your vehicle.
Each of these tips could save a life, so it is important that parents and loved ones of small children take them seriously. For more information on child safety precautions, contact our firm at (770) 427-5498. Our experienced car accident attorneys have witnessed many different types of injury cases as a result of automobile accidents. It is our goal to keep Georgia streets and communities safe.