Have You Been Injured in a Backover Accident?
A backover accident is when a driver that is backing up causes a collision. Chicago backover accident lawyers know very well that the victim in this type of accident is usually a pedestrian.
However, sometimes it’s a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or even another car that gets hit by a car that is backing up. Typically, such accidents happen in parking lots and driveways.
Because backover crashes usually happen when someone is backing out of a parking space, the impact is often at a relatively low speed. However, one of the dangers lies in the fact that drivers who back their vehicles into someone have failed to see them. Consequently, he or she might not apply the brakes until they have already run over someone.
For obvious reasons, this is especially dangerous. Further, it’s possibly fatal when the victim is a pedestrian.
Children Are at Risk For Backover Accidents
Young children are especially vulnerable to backover accidents. Unless the vehicle has a backup camera, there is a fairly large “blind zone” behind every vehicle. Here, any person that is shorter than the lowest level of the vehicle’s rear window is at risk.
Large SUVs and trucks have bigger blind zones than other vehicles. This is because their rear windows are higher off the ground. Also, because the car body length behind the driver is longer than in a normal car. These factors make it much harder for the driver to see anything that is close to or below window-height.
Consumer Reports conducted a study of “blind zones” for a large variety of vehicles. This was done to determine how far back a safety cone had to be placed before the driver could see the top of the cone.
For some large SUVs, the blind zone was over 30 feet behind the vehicle. Further, the distance was of course greater for shorter drivers than for taller drivers.
As a result of the dangers, the law provides that all new cars sold in the U.S. must have a rear backup camera.
Until recently, the NHTSA did not track the number of backover accidents that happened in the United States. This, because those accidents usually were not classified as “traffic” accidents. That is, accidents that happen on public roadways.
However, in 2009, the NHTSA was commissioned by Congress to correct this oversight. This was because backover accidents seemed to constitute an important component of the overall vehicle safety picture in this country.
If your child sustains this type of injury, contact a backover collision attorney in Chicago to learn your legal options.
Backover Accident FAQ
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about backover accidents and injuries:
How Common Are Backover Accidents?
After researching emergency department records, media reports, and other resources, the NHTSA concludes that nearly 300 fatalities and 18,000 injuries are the result of backover accidents every year. Further, the majority of these collisions occur in non-traffic situations.
KidsandCars.org estimates that 50 children are sent to the emergency room every week from backover accidents. Tragically, two of these incidents result in fatalities.
If there are over 100 child fatalities per year, the tragic reality is that almost 35% of both traffic and non-traffic fatalities from backover accidents are to young children under five years old.
Sadly, for the backover accidents that involve children, around 70 percent of the drivers are parents or other family members. This type of accident usually occurs backing out of residential driveways or garages. Here, they fail to realize the toddlers follow them outside as they went to get the car, or were otherwise in the area.
NHTSA data further reveals that another 25% of backover fatalities are to individuals 70 years and older. Unfortunately, both young toddlers and elderly individuals share a trait. They both have a diminished capacity to observe and quickly react physically to a car heading toward them.
In addition to this vulnerability, the elderly also have inherent physical frailties. This makes it more likely that even a low-speed impact will cause tremendous harm.
Why Are Backover Accidents so Dangerous?
Because backover accidents happen as a result of drivers not seeing someone behind them, they often continue to run over the person they knock down. This is because, unlike many forward collisions, they do not react to apply the brakes until they have already made impact. This delay can result in an individual being completely run over.
Also, it is more likely that the victim will be run over by a heavy vehicle. This is because larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks have greater blind zones. SUVs and trucks have involvement in 60% of backover accidents.
These collisions are relatively rare compared to other traffic accidents. However, a backover accident attorney in Chicago will tell you the danger is very real.
How Can I Avoid Getting Hit by a Backing Vehicle?
- Because of the risk of backover accidents, joggers, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians need to keep a lookout for backing cars. This especially in driveways and parking lots.
- It’s best to assume that a backing driver doesn’t see you and to give them a lot of space. That is not a defense to that driver’s negligence, but being careful can help you stay safe.
- It is especially important to carry or hold on to young children.
- Teach kids as early as possible to be aware of the dangers of walking behind vehicles.
- Teach your kids not to play around parked vehicles.
Unfortunately, many drivers are just not careful enough about backing up. This is especially true in their own driveways, where they may not anticipate anyone or anything being in their way.
How Can I Avoid Causing a Backover Accident?
On the other side of the equation, drivers should be much more careful when moving in reverse. The following tips can help avoid accidents:
- Never assume that no one is behind them just because you do not see anyone in the rearview mirror.
- Walk around your vehicle before backing.
- Know where your children are before backing out of your driveway.
- If the vehicle lacks a backup camera or backup sensors, use extreme caution in reverse. Move the vehicle very slowly so that if there is an impact, you can make an immediate stop.
- Listen for any sounds of voices or impacts. This is because people will often make their presence known by shouting an alert, or will cry out if they are hit.
- Even if there is nothing behind the vehicle when it begins moving, you should continually monitor what is behind you.
- Keep a careful eye out for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, or motorists.
- Be aware of blind spots and reverse with the assumption that there could be people in the area.
Contact a Chicago Backover Accident Lawyer at Abels & Annes
If you sustain injuries in a backover accident, the car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes in Chicago can help you. We have extensive experience assisting auto accident victims that suffer injury due to the negligence of motorists.
Abels & Annes often assists pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, and drivers. We help people with catastrophic injuries such as traumatic spine and head injuries. Also, we assist young and old clients, and new and returning clients. Further, you can be sure we will work hard to get you the compensation that you deserve.
If you would like to find out if we can help you with a Chicago area backover accident case, please contact our office. Call our toll-free number at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or locally in Chicago at (312) 924-7575.
You can also tell us about your accident using the online form or online chat here on this website. Your consultation is completely free, and there is no obligation on your part to hire us after you talk to us.
If we decide to proceed with a case, you will pay no attorney fees unless you win your case. This, either through a settlement approved by you, or by a lawsuit.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. in Chicago have built a strong reputation for providing our clients with the help they need when they need it. Let us get to work for you.