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Accidentally backing over pedestrians in parking lots or children in private driveways cause more deaths and injuries than you might expect. The number of backover accidents can be only roughly estimated since many occur on private property and are not recorded in State or Federal traffic crash databases. A combination of death certificate data and traffic crash data indicate that backover accidents involving all types of vehicles are estimated to cause at least 183 deaths each year. In addition, an additional 6,700 to 7,419 injuries result form backover accidents each year.
The National Highway and Traffice Safety Administration was required by Congress recently to conduct studies on potential electronic safety systems, such as back-up cameras and motion sensor systems, that might be used by manufacturers to help prevent these tragedies. The most promising of these are back-up camera devices. These devices are currently available for after market installation for only a few hundred dollars. If your vehicle has a blind spot that causes you concern when backing up, you may want to consider installing an after market backup camera, especially if you have small children. Blind spots are largest and most concerning in sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and other long wheel based vehicles.
Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter recently represented a victim of a backover accident, a young college student who was killed when she was backed over by a stretch limousine in a parking lot. A settlement of over 1 million dollars was secured for the parents of this promising young University of Central Florida student.
Until Congress requires SUV’s, limousines, and other vehicles to have back-up cameras, motion sensors, or other safety devices to prevent backover accidents, please consider after market devices for your family’s safety.