Many drivers do not realize the serious risk of causing an accident when they are backing up their vehicles. However, motorists can cause dangerous collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists when backing out of their driveways or parking space in a parking lot. These incidents are especially tragic when the victim is a child who can suffer life-altering injuries or death if hit by a much larger vehicle.
Common Reasons That Backover Car Accidents Happen
Backover accidents primarily occur in driveways and parking lots. In many cases, the driver causing an accident while backing up is a family member or friend of the victim. According to kidsandcars.org, a parent or other relative is the driver in 70 percent of these incidents. The major reasons that these accidents occur include:
- Pedal confusion. In some cases, a backover accident is caused by a driver’s confusion about the pedals, which can lead to reversing faster than intended.
- Gears. If a driver plans to go forward but does not shift gears, he can suddenly reverse right into the path of unsuspecting people or children behind the vehicle instead of moving forward as he intended.
- Blind spots. All vehicles have blind spots, and larger vehicles, such as trucks, vans, and SUVs, have larger blind spots than smaller vehicles. The blind spot behind a vehicle generally extends from the area below the rear windshield to the ground and prevents a driver from seeing everything behind his vehicle while backing up. While he may see a taller adult through his rear windshield, smaller children or a person bending down to pick something up may be impossible to see.
- Distracted driving. If a driver is distracted by buckling his seat belt, talking to a passenger, or using his cell phone, he may not be looking carefully enough behind his vehicle when backing up and may not see an adult or child before it is too late.
If you or a loved one were the victim of a backover accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver. Our experienced car accident attorneys are here to explain your legal options to you and to negotiate your settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. Call our Norfolk office today to schedule your free case evaluation.