Backup Accidents

Updated: September 9, 2010

Every year, children are injured and killed because drivers in some cases, their  parents do not see them while reversing their vehicle. According to KIDS AND CARS, a nonprofit group that works to improve child safety around cars, at least 50 children are backed over every week in the U.S. 48 are treated in hospital emergency rooms and at least 2 children die. Between the years 2002 and 2007, almost half of the over 1,100 non-traffic fatalities that involved children were a result of backover accidents.

Larger vehicles are a contributing factor SUVs, pickups, and minivans which have become increasingly popular, have larger blind zones than passenger cars. A blind zone is the area behind a vehicle that a person can’t see from the driver’s seat.

To help consumers understand how large some blind are, blind spots have been measured and the results for both an average-height driver (5 feet 8 inches) and a shorter driver (5 feet 1 inch) are listed in the accompanying charts.

To measure the blind zones, a 28-inch traffic cone was positioned behind the vehicle at the point where the driver could just see its top. Llonger and taller vehicles tend to have significantly larger blind zones.

Bottom line

Your best defense against backover accidents is to get out of your vehicle and check behind it just before you back up. If kids are nearby, make sure you can see them while backing up.

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