The Tragedy of Backup Accidents
Any auto accident involving injury or death is tragic, but backup accidents can be particularly heartbreaking. A backup accident occurs when a driver reverses into a person, object or another car.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 210 people are killed, and 15,000 are injured in backup accidents each year. Of those killed, 26 percent are adults over age 70 and about 31 percent are children under age five. In back-overs involving children, a close relative is behind the wheel 70 percent of the time.
Hopefully, these numbers will soon decrease.
The NHTSA has mandated that as of May 1, 2018, automakers must include rear visibility technology in new vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds. A 2014 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report showed that rear cameras reduce blind spots by as much as 90 percent, and that they are more effective at helping drivers avoid objects than parking sensors. Another IIHS study showed that rear cameras are expected to prevent 1 in 6 police-reported crashes.
How to Reduce the Risk of a Backup Accident
Backup accidents are almost entirely preventable. Here are five ways you can backup safely.
- Walk around your car. Before getting behind the wheel, circle your entire vehicle to check for children, space limitations, obstructions, uneven surfaces or other potential dangers.
- Use safety devices properly. Make sure rearview and side mirrors are correctly adjusted and pay attention to your rear camera if you have one. But never rely exclusively on these devices. Always look and listen for activity around you.
- Back up slowly. Expect that something will appear in your path while backing up. Go slowly, be prepared to stop immediately, and only back up the shortest distance necessary.
- Use a spotter. In complicated backup situations or when children are present, ask someone outside the car to help you reverse safely. Remember that you are still entirely responsible for backing up carefully.
- Avoid backing up. If possible, avoid backing up at all. Think of potential backup complications when choosing a parking space.
Although rear-view technology can help make backing up safer, accidents still happen. If you’ve been involved in a back-over accident, contact Zanes at (844) 926-3752 to see how we can help.
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