Of the many different types of automobile accidents, there is one in particular that presents a great risk of harm to toddlers and children alike. Despite being highly preventable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released some alarming statistics regarding what are referred to as "back-over" accidents. Specifically, most of these types of accidents occurred when the driver, not noticing that a child was within their path, unintentionally backs their vehicle up and strikes them.
Oftentimes, our Miami personal injury lawyers find that blind spots account for the main reason why a driver failed to realize that a child was present as they were backing up. In fact, the CDC reports that between 2001 and 2003, over 7,400 children between the ages of one and fourteen years were treated for non-fatal injuries stemming from a back-over accident. Of these, approximately half were extremely young children, with ages ranging from one to four.
The CDC further provides that most back-over accidents, roughly 40%, occurred in a person's driveway or in a parking lot. These typically cause the most severe injuries to children that are either sitting, standing, playing or walking within the vicinity of a vehicle. About 80% of the time, the child that is struck under these set of circumstances often requires emergent care. With this in mind, the most frequently treated injuries for back-over accidents are:
• Injuries to arms and legs (about 53%)
• Head, neck and facial injuries (28%)
• Cuts, bruises and abrasions (56%)
• Bone fractures and internal injuries (nearly 40% for children ages 4 and under) and about 17.5% for children between the ages of 10 and 14.
In light of these startling statistics, it is important to understand how to prevent these types of accidents. Simply apprising your friends and family about the risks associated with back-over accidents is certainly a step in the right direction. Also, consider the following:
• Do not let your children play near parked vehicles, even if they are unoccupied and not running.
• Always supervise your children while playing. During this time, do not take your eyes off your children, as it only takes a split second or less for something tragic to occur.
• Demonstrate to your children how difficult it is for you to see objects and people when backing your car up.
• Keep the keys to your vehicle out of the reach of your children.
• If you allow your children to play in your driveway, park your car on the street or at the end of it to avoid accidents.
• Consider fencing off your driveway to prevent your children and others from playing in it.
• Provide children with safer places to play, such as in a fenced-in back yard.
• If possible, install a circular driveway at your home, which lessens if not completely eliminates the need to back your car out.
• Make sure to look before backing out. This includes checking all mirrors, exiting your vehicle to be sure nothing is in the way of your car, and backing out slowly.
• Remind all family, friends and guests of your home to look before backing out.
• Teach your children to play safely. This includes advising them to stay away from vehicles and to never assume that someone can always see them.
• If you are in the market for a new vehicle, purchase one that has a camera installed on the back bumper. These allow you to see things that otherwise would be not be visible.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a back-over related accident in Florida, please contact us at 1-888-499-9700 or 305-595-2400 for a FREE Consultation. Our attorneys are available 24/7 through e-mail or answering service Let the seasoned lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano ease your burdens and fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We look forward to providing you with excellent legal services.