Accidentally backing over someone accounts for about 15% of all non-traffic crash injuries. Sadly, children between the ages of 1 and 4 years-old account for half of these tragedies and almost half of these accidents happen in the parent’s driveway or in a parking lot. In fact, over 200 children die each year after being backed into by a car.
Everyone, including parents, must be vigilant when backing up or driving in parking lots. Young children are often not aware of their surroundings. Many times they are too small to be seen in the rear-view mirror and wind up in the driver’s “blind spot.” According to Edmonds.com, recent studies show that close to 57 percent of drivers in vehicles equipped with back-up cameras avoided backing over a stationary object that had been placed behind the vehicle when they weren’t looking. The March 2014 research report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also found that three-quarters of drivers in vehicles with both rearview cameras and audible sensors avoided a back-over accident.
By contrast, 100 percent of drivers in the IIHS study who were operating vehicles without back-up cameras or audible sensors ran over a child-size stationary object that had been surreptitiously placed behind them, according to David Zuby, chief research officer at the IIHS vehicle research center in Ruckersville, Virginia. “Our study adds to the body of evidence that’s been building over several years that cameras will help avoid some of these crashes,” Zuby says.
NHTSA expects rearview visibility systems that meet the final regulations’ standards to be 28-33 percent more effective at avoiding back-over accidents than existing sensor-only systems.
By 2054, when most U.S. vehicles on the road will have rearview systems, the technology should save 58-69 lives a year, according to data NHTSA released with the final rule. By that time, the agency estimates the total benefit from rearview technology to preventing injuries, saving lives and avoiding property should be $265 million to $396 million a year. In coming model years, expect to see automakers adding other types of cameras to cars, SUVs and trucks for maneuverability, better aerodynamics and fun. At 2014 auto shows, Land Rover made a splash with a concept off-road vehicle with a hood mounted camera that captures pictures of upcoming terrain and feeds them to a head-up display at the bottom of the windshield to create a 3-D map.
As an Atlanta car accident lawyer who has handled hundreds of these sad cases, I urge all drivers to be aware of their surrounding. If you are driving in a school or day-care parking lot, you should be especially careful, as this is where many young children are playing.
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.