A back over auto accident occurs when a driver is backing their vehicle out of a driveway or a parking spot and hits someone who is behind them, typically a pedestrian or bicyclist. The most common scenario that you hear about concerning back over auto accidents are those that involve small children who are not visible to the driver because they are too short to be seen in the rearview mirrors. However, adults are also frequently victims of the same kind of auto accident, either because the driver wasn’t paying attention or because the person suddenly passed behind the vehicle, not realizing it was going to back up or too quickly for the driver who is backing up to respond in time. Back up auto accidents also frequently involve pets, like dogs and cats, who are also often too small to be seen by the driver. However, cases that involve pets are not viewed as personal injury claims, but as property damage claims.
How Common Are Back Over Auto Accidents?
Back over auto accidents are fairly common, with as many as two children being killed by this kind of auto accident every week, and as many as 50 injuries to children with the same cause. When combining all victims of back over auto accidents, which are most likely to occur to children and elderly individuals, there are close to 20K injuries each year and close to 300 deaths. Remember that this only accounts for human injuries, and does not include the hundreds of animals who are injured or killed by back over auto accidents each year.
These kinds of accidents are especially common with larger vehicles, like SUVs, that have less visibility and passenger vehicles with substantial blind spots. With all of this in mind, it’s worth mentioning that back over auto accidents are not actually as common as other forms of auto accidents, but they are common enough to be worthy of discussion concerning how to prevent them, and what to do if it happens to you.
How Can Back Over Auto Accidents Be Prevented?
Because many back over auto accidents involve children and pets, and are caused by the short stature of these victims, back up cameras on vehicles can prevent back over auto accidents. These days, many vehicles have this kind of equipment to allow the driver to see what is behind them, even if it isn’t tall enough to be seen in the rear view mirrors. These cameras have prevented many injuries and deaths, particularly for children and pets. There are also some vehicles that automatically stop when they detect an object behind them, though these technologies are not widespread enough to entirely eliminate the problem.
The most important thing that drivers can do to prevent back over auto accidents is to look carefully at their surroundings before getting into the vehicle and then through their rear view mirrors. You can even look out your windows to see if anyone is approaching your vehicle and might pass behind it. By evaluating your surroundings before getting into the vehicle, you can see all of the potential victims of a back over accident, where they are standing, which direction they are walking, etc., and then you can make a point of identifying those individuals when you are in your vehicle, so that you know everyone is accounted for before you back up.
Beyond this, you can move slowly when you start to back up, so that others have plenty of time to be aware of the fact that you’re backing up. It is common to overlook pets, so keep an eye out for them too. The more crowded the area, the more you need to pay attention to everyone around your vehicle. If there are several people in the area, such as children playing at the end of your driveway, you might want to verbally alert them of the fact that you’re going to be backing up, and that they need to clear away from that area. Then, make a point of looking for them as you back out of the driveway. All of these things can prevent serious accidents.
If you are a pedestrian, a bicyclist, a parent, or someone with a pet, then you can do your part to protect yourself and those you care about from becoming victims of back over auto accidents. Talk to your children about being aware of their surroundings in parking lots, near driveways, and anywhere that vehicles are. When it comes to very small children, always keep your eye on them and know where they are. Keep your pets constrained and don’t allow them to wander the neighborhood without you. As a pedestrian or bicyclist, make a point of being extra vigilant in parking lots and near driveways. Slow down when approaching driveways, and pay attention to the lights and movement of vehicles that are near you.
What Do You Do After a Back Over Auto Accident Occurs?
After a back over auto accident occurs, you need to assess the damage. This means checking the victim for injuries and contacting emergency medical assistance as needed. Then, contact the police, and file an auto accident report. Take photos of the damages, for evidence, and maintain records of medical treatment and expenses. Then, call the skilled Georgia auto accident attorneys at the Law Office of John B. Jackson for a free consultation.