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Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC

Child Back Over Accidents in California

Kid Playing in the Parking Lot Child back over accidents in California are some of the most tragic and most preventable of mishaps. As an attorney who represents injured pedestrians of all ages including children, I have seen this tragedy unfold too many times. One of the least publicized yet most tragic home accidents that involve children are backover accidents. As these kind of backover incidents go, California is one of the most guilty states in all the United States. Here are some of the statistics that you should know about these kinds of tragic accidents as well as information that will help you choose an attorney to protect your interests in a case like this.

Thousands of Children are Killed From These Incidents Every Year

There are more cases than one would ever want to acknowledge when it comes to back over incidents. These incidents can easily take place in an otherwise quiet neighborhood with little to no warning at all. The simple fact that children cannot be seen in the blind zone of a vehicle can destroy an entire family in a matter of seconds – there are literally inches between life and death in these cases. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that your children never has to come within the scope of any of these inches.

In the United States alone, there are at least fifty incidents of children being backed over by cars each and every week. Six out of every 10 of these incidents occurs with a larger vehicle such as a truck or an SUV. Tragically, most of the time it is a close relative of the children who is behind the wheel of the vehicle. That’s right; most of these incidents do not occur in the driveway of a neighbor, but in the driveway of the children’s homes.

The age of most of the victims of these backovers is one year.

Most of These Incidents Take Place at Home or in Parking Lots

Kid Playing in the DrivewayChildren are most often backed over when a car is trying to get out of its garage or its driveway. Because of the nature of older models of vehicles, there can literally be no warning that a child is in the oncoming path of a vehicle. However, this leads to the first prevention tactic that can drastically reduce the probability of this tragic event ever happening to you. In addition, commercial parking lots are also a main area where children can be struck and injured or killed while traversing to or from a commercial structure to a motor vehicle or entering or exiting the car.

The Blind Spot = The Blind Zone

If you do not have a vehicle that is equipped with a rearview camera, have it installed into your vehicle immediately. The blind spots of vehicles that are not equipped with this relatively new technology do not allow you a full field of vision no matter how much you may crane your neck or how many times you check.

The term “blind spot” is really a misnomer. A spot connotates a relatively small area that can adjusted for. The truth is that vehicles always maintain a rather large area that a driver cannot see without some type of digital assistance. Children are more than small enough to fit into this area without any indication that they are there.

Laws to Prevent Backover Tragedies

The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act created a nationwide rear view standard of visibility in all vehicles in 2014. All vehicles created after this year and model have this upgrade. Although this is definitely an improvement, it cannot be the only precaution that your household takes. No law can prevent backovers if the household is not on constant vigilance at all times when it comes to the children.

California Vehicle Code Section 22106 states as follows:

No person shall start a vehicle stopped, standing, or parked on a highway, nor shall any person back a vehicle on a highway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.

In my analysis as a lawyer handling these types of claims, “reasonable safety” would require checking for children behind your vehicle prior to entry, using your rearview mirror and making a full head turn to the rear for the entirety of the backing movement to assure no kids have run into the rear path of the vehicle. While this may not prevent all incidents, it greatly reduces the chance of a mishap.

Understanding the Nature of Children

You may think that your child is somewhat safe because of the natural inclination of most humans to avoid danger. The truth is that at the age at which most of these children are hit, they have not developed this kind of instinct. Children simply are not able to determine the true danger of a slow moving vehicle. They may also assume that they can be seen because they are able to see the driver. Although this may seem like an obvious kind of observation, it only takes a few seconds of inattention for a tragedy to occur. These points need to be driven home whenever they possibly can.

Understand that between the ages of one and five, children do not want to be left alone. When you are leaving your house to go to work and you get into your car, children may follow you unexpectedly. Remain vigilant in all cases in order to prevent tragedy.

You must begin worrying about the relationship between your child and cars much earlier than the teen driving years. Make sure that you have all of your contingencies in place to avoid backover incidents, especially if you live in California. If you are already in a situation that requires legal assistance, use the tips above in order to choose the correct attorney for the job. Make the call as soon as possible – you are in an emotional situation that requires the aid of a dedicated and experienced legal professional immediately.

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