Although most people recognize the danger posed by intoxicated and distracted drivers on Florida roadways, the risk of injury or death posed by a motor vehicle can exist much closer to home. The family driveway can be a dangerous place for small children. Vehicles backing over children while pulling out of driveways claim the lives of fifty children per week according to the website kidsandcars.org. The site also indicates that approximately 7 in 10 fatal back up accidents occur when a relative is behind the wheel. In this two-part blog post, our Miami personal injury attorneys provide important safety information that can reduce the risk of a back over crash. Part I of this article focuses on important risk factors while Part II discusses new safety standards and preventative measures.
Many of these tragic fatal pedestrian accidents are the result of something referred to as the "Bye-Bye Syndrome." This situation occurs because children do not want adults to leave, so they frequently follow departing adults outside into the driveway. The drivers are unaware that their kids are no longer safe inside the home because they do not check behind the vehicle before climbing into their car.
These types of auto accidents have a particularly high fatality rate because extremely young children often lack the experience and cognitive skills to fully appreciate the potential danger of an approaching vehicle. This mean that small children who are not visible through rearview mirrors and not protected by safety equipment face a disproportionately high risk of suffering a severe injury like a traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), or even death.
Back Over Accident Risk Factors
A range of factors increase the risk of a back over accident, such as the following:
Larger Vehicles: A driver's vision is limited by a blind spot in most vehicles immediately to the rear of a car. However, the size of the area without visibility is substantially larger when driving vehicles that ride high off the ground. Approximately 60 percent of backing up accidents involve trucks, SUVs, and vans. When these types of vehicles are "lifted," the area without visibility is even larger.
Age of the Child: While all small children are difficult to see behind a motor vehicle that is moving in reverse, children between the ages of 12 and 23 months constitute the predominant number of victims in back over pedestrian crashes. Young children's relatively small stature makes it harder for drivers to see them. Children in this age group also typically do not have the intellectual development to understand the hazard posed by a car moving in reverse. Further, children who are still crawling or who have only started walking tend to lack the physical ability to get out of the way even if they identify a vehicle backing up.
Lack of Supervision: One of the most tragic aspect of these types of accidents is that they are a hundred percent preventable. If children are never left unsupervised, they will not end up playing behind a motor vehicle getting ready to back up.
If your child has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, the Miami Auto Accident Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano offer the assistance you need to obtain the results you desire. With over 130 collective years of experience representing truck accident victims across South Florida, our firm provides legal representation of unmatched excellence. Contact our firm as soon as possible to start on the road to protecting your legal rights. Our firm received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and was ranked as a top firm in South Florida by the Miami Herald. Put our exceptional personal injury attorneys to work on your case. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.