One type of pedestrian accident that often has tragic consequences yet could be almost entirely avoidable are backover accidents. These accidents usually occur in parking lots and driveways as a vehicle driver is driving in reverse and hits a person standing or walking behind the vehicle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are 8,000 people who are injured each year because of backover accidents. About 200 victims are killed because their injuries are so severe. Tragically, children are most at risk for backover accidents. In fact, national statistics show that at least fifty children are being backed over by vehicles every week.
One of the main causes of these accidents is because drivers often underestimate the size of the blind spot behind their vehicles. The average blind spot in a vehicle is between 15 to 25 feet, but is even larger if the driver is shorter. More than 6 percent of backover accidents involve an SUV, truck, or van – all which tend to have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles.
But one new safety feature may help in decreasing the number of these accidents and save lives. Many auto manufacturers are offering video monitors in new vehicles. The monitor is installed in the dashboard of the vehicle so the driver can see what is behind them. If you have an older model vehicle, video monitors are available for purchase.
Although these video monitors are a good safety feature, it is still important for drivers to be aware of their surroundings before they take their foot off the brake and back out. Before you get in your vehicle, check all around it, especially if you live in a neighborhood with young children. The smaller the child, the less likely you are to see him or her. Make sure when you are backing up to keep your focus behind the vehicle, rolling down your window if necessary.
Contact a Virginia Beach Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a backover accident caused by a driver who wasn’t paying attention when they backed their vehicle up, contact a Virginia pedestrian accident attorney. Any expenses you have incurred because of your injuries – such as medical expenses, lost income, pain, and other losses – are all things that the at-fault driver is responsible for under Virginia tort law.