How to Reduce the Risk to Our Children from Georgia Backup Auto Accidents


December 16, 2010

Backing out of our driveway is second nature to most drivers, typically performed without much concern for the real risk of a collision with a small child or other motor vehicle. However, the risk of backup motor vehicle accidents is significant given the larger blind spots associated with trucks, SUVs and vans. A backup auto collision occurs when someone backs up their motor vehicle and hits a pedestrian, motor vehicle or some other object. The larger the vehicle the more area that is not visible in the car's rearview mirror.

Rearview mirrors are inadequate when it comes to detecting small children or objects that are low to the ground and fall in a car's blind spot. The problem is exacerbated by pickups, vans and SUVs, which have much larger blind spots that can hide entire vehicles and large adults. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been assisting backup accident victims throughout Atlanta and ALL of Georgia for over 25 years.

Children face a particularly high risk of being the victim of a backover accident. Fifty children per week are hit by motor vehicles in backover accidents. Almost 70 percent of the children that are victimized in these tragic accidents are usually struck by family members or someone else who they know. Young children are the most common victims of accidents where a driver has his car in reverse. The factors that increase the risk for small children are their inability to appreciate the risk based on their age and inexperience, and the difficulty in seeing them because of their size. Toddlers in particular do not anticipate the movement of the car and are not cognizant of pseudo-boundaries like sidewalks, steps, and blind zones.

While most drivers are aware that all motor vehicles have blind spots behind the vehicle, most drivers underestimate the size of the blind spot and fail to take safety precautions to avoid such accidents. Most vehicles have a blind zone behind them seven to eight feet wide, and 20-30 feet long. This blind zone increases in size as the vehicle size increases. For example, the blind spot behind a pickup can be up to 50 feet. The blind spot is also larger if a driver is shorter in stature or the vehicle is parked on a sharp incline like a steep driveway. Although there is a fair amount of safety equipment that can reduce the risk of backup accidents including sensors that sound alarms, systems that provide audible warnings when a vehicle is backing up and backup camera systems, these safety features are rarely installed in most vehicles. Drivers also typically fail to walk behind their vehicle to check for potential collision hazards before climbing behind the wheel of their car. A driver should always know where their children are before climbing into their vehicle and putting the vehicle in reverse. This simple step or the installation of inexpensive safety equipment could prevent many backup accidents involving small children.

A small child who is struck by a passenger car will typically suffer serious injuries because a child's small body is no match for a passenger car weighing 3,000 pounds. The injuries suffered are even more devastating as the size and weight of the vehicle increases. This means that trucks, SUVs and pickups where the blind spot is larger will often result in catastrophic injuries including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures and broken bones, paralysis and even death. Any parent with small children should consider installing safety equipment to protect their children from accidents when the parent is backing up their vehicle. If installing such equipment is not feasible, then parents should make a concerted effort to note where their children are and what they are doing before leaving the house and climbing in the driver's seat. Parents should also walk behind their vehicle before backing out of the driveway.

The attorneys of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, have been representing Georgia car accident victims for over 25 years. Backout accidents involving small children are avoidable tragic accidents that someday may become less common as backup safety equipment becomes more standard on all vehicles. In the short-term, many children will continue to be victims of these tragic accidents. If your child has been injured in a backup accident, we are here to help. Our Georgia backup auto accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.