One of the terrifying things that can happen to anyone is driving and accidentally running over a loved one due to poor visibility. When you or someone you love has been involved in a backover accident, we’re here to serve as your legal guides.
We know the strain that an injury toward your loved one can place on you both. That’s why we offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. We work hard to ensure that your family is well taken care of, regardless of the challenges that may lie ahead. Call our injury and accident attorneys today at (833) 254-2923, so that we can get started to protect your legal rights.
A backover accident is a car accident that occurs when a driver backs up a vehicle and collides with a pedestrian or bicyclist. Backing up can be a complicated process, especially if it is the first time you are doing so. In most situations, when a driver in a vehicle causes an accident in a parking lot, the accident results from the driver’s negligence. If a driver neglects to check their surroundings before backing up, they risk being involved in an accident with another vehicle or property that may have been parked or unattended.
In some instances, a driver backing from a driveway will back the vehicle straight into a mailbox or another stationary object on the sidewalk. In some cases, the driver may not realize that they have struck an object and continue to back up, causing further destruction to the property.
In other instances, a driver will back into a moving object, such as a person riding a bicycle. The victim has no time to escape when this happens and is often pinned between the moving vehicle and a fixed object or structure behind them. As with any activity that requires you to be alert and focused, backing up can be dangerous if it’s not done correctly.
Why Do Backover Accidents Occur?
From the unexpected to the seemingly harmless, here are some reasons why auto accidents may occur during backing up.
1. Pedal Confusion
Drivers who experience pedal confusion in parking lots commonly do so because they forget which pedal is the accelerator and which is the brake, or they mistakenly step on the wrong pedal. They might also be confused by the placement of the pedals. When this happens, the driver switches the pedals, so they accidentally go in reverse instead of inching slowly backward out of their parking spot or pulling forward from a lane when they meant to go in reverse. Drivers who have experienced pedal confusion have accidentally backed into their lovers, children, or elderly parents.
2. Distracted Driving
Drivers should always look as far as possible behind them as they back up, particularly as children and other pedestrians may be more challenging to see due to their small size. But this doesn’t usually happen. Often, drivers are preoccupied with other concerns like reaching for their phones, fastening their seat belts, or performing other daily tasks that ignore what is happening behind them.
Drivers who are distracted by activities inside their vehicle may not see pedestrians, bicyclists, or other vehicles crossing or entering the roadway. Drivers who are distracted by activities outside their car may not visually assess the speed of oncoming traffic or the distance of the following traffic, increasing the risk of a crash. Improving your awareness of the condition of your car and the things around you can increase your safety behind the wheel.
3. Blind Spots
Every vehicle has a blind spot directly behind it, and these spots cause drivers to fail to see what’s there as they back up. The blind spot is a zone in a car’s rear field of vision that is not monitored because it can’t be seen from the driver’s seat. This invisible area includes avenues of possible escape and areas that camouflage pedestrians, bicycles, or other traffic. In many cases where a crash occurs, the driver may not have been able to see that the person was there even if they had been looking in that direction.
Trucks and Backover Accidents
Unfortunately, it is not impossible to back over pedestrians or bicyclists while reversing. Pedestrians are often either unaware that the truck driver is backing up or maybe looking elsewhere when the driver takes their eyes off of them. An issue with larger trucks is that they have longer stopping distances, so they can easily back over a pedestrian unless the driver sees the person or someone alerts them. When a truck has to reverse for its cargo to be unloaded, it’s all up to the truck driver to check beforehand if anyone else is behind the truck before backing up.
Children and Backover Accident
Children are the most likely victims of backover accidents for several reasons:
- Children are more petite than adults and may be completely hidden from a driver’s view by the rear tailgate.
- Children have a more difficult time appreciating the danger posed by a vehicle turning around, mainly if the child is playing or otherwise distracted.
- Children may not be able to move out of the way as quickly as an adult would.
- A child’s inability to verbalize their injuries hinders accurate documentation of injuries after an accident.
Drivers should remain vigilant whenever backing up. Follow the below tips to avoid backover accidents:
- When you are reversing your vehicle, it is essential to check your surroundings before you get in and start it. It’s recommended to take a quick walk around the area where you are parking and look underneath to make sure no one is there, like children playing behind your vehicle or pets waiting to make their escape.
- It is a good idea to check behind the vehicle by using the rearview and side mirrors. You should also rely on your peripheral vision or look out of a window that provides a view to the rear. Whenever possible, back up slowly and be sure to check for obstacles and people before you shift into reverse.
- Consider lowering your radio volume and opening your windows while driving in reverse. This will allow you to hear what’s going on around you and decrease the risk of an accident.
- Today’s vehicles are quieter than ever before. If it is safe to do so (i.e., not on a freeway or highway), try turning on your vehicle’s hazard lights while reversing, so people around you will be more likely to notice your car.
- Ease off the accelerator and avoid using cruise control or other automatic systems that allow you to drive without keeping your hands on the wheel or your eyes on the road, as these can distract you from keeping an eye out for small children who might run into the street. The best way to avoid distraction is to use a rear view mirror extender. Although such devices won’t eliminate the risk, they can reduce it.
Employing Technology to Curb Backover Accidents
Backover accidents are caused by wrong maneuvering of the vehicle, which is often due to inattention or distraction of its driver. However, since it is not possible to prevent all types of accidents, technical advancements have reduced the number of backover accidents.
Rear view cameras are designed to prevent accidents. They project the car’s route on a screen at the front of the vehicle. Cars with sensors give an alarm if any object is traveling in the same direction. These systems actively monitor the rear of a car and will send a warning to the driver if a pedestrian or other object is behind them.
Backup camera technology is designed to assist drivers with backing up safely. However, as with any technological advancement, sometimes the improvements create a false sense of security as people allow the technology to do more work for them. To avoid a tragic accident due to this type of error, it is vital that drivers understand precisely what backup cameras can and cannot do.
Preventing backover accidents takes diligence and vigilance. All drivers must stay cognizant of their surroundings at all times. If you are not properly looking for other vehicles or are in a hurry, the likelihood of an accident is increased.
Why Seek Help from the CEO Lawyer Personal Personal Injury Law Firm?
The complexities of a backover accident are numerous. But the Atlanta auto accident attorneys at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm are here to help guide you through this time after an accident. Our attorneys understand that this is a difficult time for you, and we take the time to get to know you and your situation. We can answer all of your questions, prepare thorough documentation for the court, and evaluate evidence so that you can be compensated appropriately.
At the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, every member of our team is committed to providing each client with comprehensive legal counsel commensurate with their unique situation. We provide our clients with comprehensive legal counsel through knowledgeable, experienced attorneys who are committed to answering your questions any time. You can contact us at (833) 254-2923 or write to us via e-mail to request a free consultation.