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Child Safety: Tips for Prevention of Backover Accidents

Recently here on the San Diego Personal Injury Blog we reported on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s rule requiring all new vehicles to be equipped with rear visibility technology beginning May 2018. The focus of the rule is on the prevention of backover accidents, which occur when people, often young children, are injured or killed when they are struck by a car backing out of a driveway or parking space.

It’s anticipated that the new rule will result in saving between 58 and 69 lives, but it doesn’t come into effect until May 2018. What can parents do in the meantime? Rear visibility technology is not the only thing which can help prevent backover crashes. The NHTSA, through its consumer site Safercar.gov, offers parents a number of tips for preventing backover accidents when backing up, including the following:

  • Teach your children not to play around cars.
  • Supervise your children carefully when they are around cars.
  • Before backing up, walk around your vehicle and check behind it.
  • Always be aware of small children in the surrounding area, as the smaller they are, the less likely you are to see them if they’re behind your vehicle.
  • When backing up, have your children stand to the side of the driveway or the sidewalk where you can see them.
  • Back up slowly, and look behind you, in case a small child makes a sudden dash behind your car.
  • Roll down your windows before you back up so you can hear anything that might be happening outside of your vehicle.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers similar tips, including adequate supervision of children playing in areas near parked cars and looking carefully for children before backing up.

While rear visibility technology can be helpful in avoiding backover accidents, even if you are currently driving a vehicle equipped with such a system, it’s still a good idea to practice these prevention tips. Remember, children can and often do move and behave unpredictably.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.