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How to Avoid Backover Accidents and Protect Your Child

Written by Jared Staver

Read Jared's Bio

Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury


It’s a tragic and all-too-common scenario — a parent leaves to go to work or the grocery store and kisses a toddler “bye bye.” The child doesn’t want the parent to leave and cries for a few minutes. Even worse, the child follows the parent outside without the parent’s knowledge because the person responsible for caring for the toddler in the parent’s absence looked away for just a second. The parent climbs into a car or SUV, backs out of the driveway, and runs over the toddler.

A shocking 50 children per week are the victims of backover accidents nationwide — with more than 70 percent of those involving a driver who is a parent or close relative. The driver would never dream of doing anything to endanger or harm the child, but just didn’t see the child because they were too small and in a blind spot.

A backover accident occurs when a vehicle is backing up, usually out of a driveway or parking space, and hits a pedestrian or cyclist in the process. In most cases, the driver does not see the victim before reversing and even at relatively low speeds continues to accelerate until it’s too late. Because the driver fails to stop the vehicle immediately, an ensuing collision can cause serious or fatal injuries.

Did you know that 13,000 injuries are caused annually by backover incidents? Unfortunately, backover accidents commonly involve children, with toddlers under 5 years old experiencing the highest risk of being hit. Such unintentional accidents cause thousands of life-threatening injuries and deaths amongst kids every year.

New Regulations

Because of the growing rate of backover accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association proposed that all new car models must provide a built-in rear backup camera in order to minimize the relatively large blind zone. The average blind zone radius is approximately 15 to 25 feet, and can be even wider for trucks and SUVs.

The good news is that last year a new regulation called the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act was enacted that introduced more rigorous rear visibility standards. Starting in May 2018, new vehicles sold or leased will be mandated to come with rearview safety technology.

Tips for Protection

There are steps that you can take to prevent backover accidents and protect your children from harm.

  • Always check the space around your vehicle before you get in to make sure there’s nothing in your path.
  • If you have an older car model without a rearview camera, you should consider installing a backup system or device to prevent accidents.
  • Caution young kids against playing on or near driveways.
  • When walking through parking lots, always keep children in sight and hold hands if possible, fasten toddlers into a stroller, and make sure nobody wanders too close to lit vehicles.
  • Educate your children about the dangers of a slow-moving car. Even when kids are aware of a rolling car, most of them do not realize that sometimes the driver cannot see them from behind the wheel.
  • Be aware and vigilant of any blind spots and the rear blind zone in relation to your vehicle at all times.

You can visit KidsandCars.org for more useful tips and stories.

Personal Injury Help

The loss or suffering of a loved one — especially a child — can be devastating and traumatic. It is a lot to deal with on your own. Our team of compassionate personal injury attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help. If you or a family member has been recently injured in a backover accident, we want to help take care of your financial recovery so you can focus on physical and emotional healing.

An experienced personal injury attorney will handle all of the required paperwork and forms and collect necessary legal and medical documentation to file a claim on your behalf. We strive to fight for the maximum compensation possible under the circumstances of each case.

In the past, we have assisted victims from all walks of life and attained settlements to cover costs for emergency room visits, surgeries, treatments, physical therapy, pain and suffering, and other damages. Our mission is to provide the best service for you and your family. We will not charge any fees unless a settlement is received. For more information, schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers today by calling .

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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