One Child's Death is One Too Many: Preventing Backovers in America's Driveways
Vehicle backover injuries and deaths occur when someone, without a driver’s knowledge or awareness, is positioned behind a vehicle as the driver is backing out of a driveway or other parking spot. Most victims of backovers are the elderly and children.
To add to the tragedy of backover injuries and deaths, the driver is often a neighbor or relative. When a child is the victim, the driver may even be the child’s mother or father.
Since most of these heartbreaking incidents occur in private driveways rather than on the road, they are not typically included in traffic-crash fatality data. Therefore, experts often don’t agree on the exact number of children injured or killed in backover incidents each year.
But even one child who dies from a backover incident is one too many. Awareness and understanding of the problem are the first steps toward reducing the risk of backover deaths.
All Vehicles Have Blind Spots
Blind spots for shorter drivers tend to be significantly larger as well. In addition, the elevation of the driver’s seat, the shape of a vehicle’s windows and mirrors, and the slope of a driveway can affect the size of the blind spot behind a vehicle.
In addition, the smaller stature of children can make them particularly difficult for a driver to see when backing up. So how do you protect a child from becoming a victim of backover?
Safety Tips for Parents
Finally, talk with neighborhood parents about backover incidents and ask them to teach their children not to play in or around any vehicle or driveway. By working together to promote awareness and protective home and neighborhood environments, we can help to keep all our children safe.