Accidents While Backing Up
Backover accidents are a major concern in the U.S. The issue is so severe, vehicle manufacturers are now required to add rearview cameras on all new models as of May 2018. Backover accidents accounted for 12,000 pedestrians and cyclists injures in 2015, according to the National Highway and Safety Administration (NHTSA). Two hundred eighty-four more passed away. These statistics are troubling.
How can we address this problem? The following article offers simple precautions you can take to help prevent backover accidents, plus helpful resources if you need to file a claim.
Find helpful information such as:
- Dangers of Backover Accidents
- Getting Hit by a Vehicle Backing Out
- Common Causes of Backover Accidents
- Preventing Backover Accidents
- What to Do in the Event of an Accident
- Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
Parking lot and driveway crashes can be devastating, even though they happen at lower speeds than most collisions.
If you or a loved one were involved in a backover accident and have questions about insurance or legal remedy, the attorneys at The Flood Law Firm sympathize and can help. Call the Connecticut car accident attorneys at (860) 346-2695 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
Dangers of Backover Accidents
Every year, over 2,400 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms after being struck or rolled over by a reversing vehicle (Center for Disease Control and Prevention).
Adults account for 50% of fatalities from backing up accidents (National Highway Traffic and Safety).
While backover accidents can happen in an instant, the consequences can be life-changing.
Pedestrians who are victims of backing up accidents may escape with minor injuries such as cuts and bruises. However, broken bones, concussions, brain injuries or even death are not uncommon. Children are especially susceptible to severe injury from a backover due to their small size.
Hit by a Vehicle Backing Out
At least 60,000 people are injured and more than 500 more are killed in parking lots each year (National Safety Council).
Why are these areas so hazardous?
Driveways are another common area of backing up accidents. Even though these crashes take place at low speeds, serious damage can occur. No matter the speed, drivers are always responsible for checking mirrors and ensuring the road is free of oncoming traffic, pedestrians or hazards.
Common Causes of Backover Accidents
Whether parking, exiting a driveway or turning, drivers have limited visibility when backing up.
Though drivers tend to slow down in parking lots, there are no traffic signals to direct drivers. Instead, drivers must navigate parking lots at will. Crowded lots force drivers to monitor more activity in a limited window of space and time. Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists may be backing out or traveling in different directions simultaneously.
Backover accidents often happen because of:
- Distracted driving Drivers who are texting or using a phone, reaching for something, or fastening their seatbelt while backing out are distracted.
- Pedal confusion happens when a mixes up the pedals and reverses quickly instead of slowly inching backward from a parking spot.
- Blind spots are sections of the road where a driver’s line of vision is blocked. Depending on the size of the vehicle, the blind spot might be as big as a driveway.
Preventing Backing Up Accidents
Accident prevention can help save lives. Follow the tips below to avoid getting into a wreck:
- Look behind your vehicle before getting in
- Always back up as slowly and carefully as possible
- Make sure children are in full view and not behind the vehicle
- Teach children not to stand or play behind vehicles under any circumstance
- Become aware of your vehicle’s blind spot
- Ensure the landscaping around your driveway is appropriately trimmed, allowing you to have a better view of your surroundings
What to Do in the Event of an Accident
Even parking lot crashes can be severe. The following steps can help keep you and your loved ones safe after an accident:
- Call 9-1-1 for immediate medical attention.
- Contact the police to create a police report.
- Exchange information with other parties involved, including driver’s name, license plate number, phone number and insurance provider.
- Do not admit fault or speak with the other party’s insurance company. This could hurt your potential case if you decide to seek compensatory damages.
- Document the scene by taking photographs.
- If the driver leaves the scene of an accident, document any information you have about who hit you. Look for witnesses and gather their information. Call the police and report a hit-and-run.
Who is Liable in a Backover Accident?
Establishing total liability in any accident is a challenge, even with what may appear to be a cut and dry case.
A driver who is backing up is immediately responsible for ensuring the area is clear and safe before moving. However, attributing accident liability depends upon the specific circumstances of the crash.
Most backing up accidents happen when a vehicle reverses and hits another car. A driver backing up would typically be at fault for colliding into something. However, in some instances, such as when speeding is a factor, the speeding driver could be held liable.
Some simplified examples explain fault in a crash:
- Another driver pulled out from their parking spot
The driver vacating the spot will be held liable for the accident. The vehicle traveling straight generally has the right of way, while a parked or turning vehicle is responsible for yielding to all others.
- A driver rear-ended you
In most rear-end collisions, the driver who rear ends the car ahead is liable for the wreck, and parking lot collisions are no different. Drivers should confirm a safe and adequate distance between themselves and the leading vehicle.
- Another driver hits your vehicle
If a driver turns in front of oncoming traffic, he or she is liable for any damages that result from a collision. The same is true when a driver makes a fast-left-hand turn into a parking spot and hits an oncoming vehicle from the opposite direction. It is the driver’s duty to be sure he or she has enough time to safely make the move.
- Drivers backing into each other
When two drivers back out of two different spots collide, both drivers can be held equally responsible; each is obligated to be aware of their surroundings.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
Backing up crashes may be as shocking and harmful as high-speed crashes. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a backover accident, call Connecticut’s car accident attorneys at The Flood Law Firm at (860) 346-2695 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
Our team has decades of experience handling vehicle collisions of every type. We know the safety regulations and laws as they pertain to driver responsibility, and we have access to resources and information to help you win a claim.