Every vehicle has blind zones that are difficult for the driver to see, especially in the rear of the vehicle. These areas can become especially dangerous when a driver is backing up their vehicle, when pedestrians, bicyclists and even other vehicles may be in these blind spots. Most backing up accidents occur at low speeds while a driver is backing out of a driveway or parking space, usually only causing property damage. However, there are still many physical injuries and even fatalities that happen every year in backing up accidents. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to protecting the legal rights of people who have been injured by a backing-up vehicle accident in the Chicago metropolitan area and all throughout Illinois.
Frequency And Severity Of Backing-Up Auto Accidents
Although a smaller percentage of the total amount of injury auto accidents, backing up accidents still cause thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that an average of 18,000 "back over" injury accidents and another 30,000 other backing accidents injuries happen each year.
In addition, there are over 400 fatalities connected with backing accidents every year. While this is less than 10% of all traffic fatalities, it is concerning especially when a higher percentage of these fatalities happen to children and the elderly. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2007:
- Of 292 back over fatalities, 103 were children under the age of five
- 76 of the deaths in backover crashes were elderly persons 70-years old or older
- An estimated 5,000 injuries out of 18,000 were persons under five or over 70 years of age
Many of these numbers may be even higher as backing up crashes that occur on private property are not entered as traffic accidents and coded as non-traffic accidents. Additionally, many backing accidents that happen in driveways or parking lots are not entered into data systems that track traffic accidents.
Preventing Backing Up Car Accidents
It is everyone’s responsibility to reduce backing up accidents, from the drivers that cause them to those who are in danger of being injured. The sad fact is that almost all backover accidents are preventable and most are caused by passenger vehicles. The NHTSA estimates that 39% of backover fatalities happen in residential areas, the majority caused by drivers of passenger vehicles. Some ways that these accidents can be prevented include:
- Driver caution. Checking all mirrors and looking over their shoulders to check blind spots before backing up can reduce the chance of a driver causing a backing up accident.
- Backing up safety devices. Many newer vehicles are equipped with back up sensors or cameras that alert drivers if there is anything behind the vehicle.
- Play areas. Parents can help keep kids safe by keeping outdoor play areas away from adjacent driveways.
- Pedestrian precaution. Pedestrians and bicyclists need to be aware of backing vehicles. Use caution when approaching a driveway or alley where a vehicle may be exiting. Kids need to be taught to check these areas just like crossing a street as well as be warned that any parked vehicle can start moving at any time.
Vehicle Back Over Injury Liability
In most cases, the driver who is backing up will be liable in a backing up accident, especially if it involves a pedestrian. As in all auto accidents, the driver's insurance should cover damages that are caused by the crash. This can include medical bills, lost wages and other expenses caused by the accident.
In the tragic case of a hit-and-run injury accident, where the driver backs into a victim and leaves the scene, there are still options for compensation. A person who has uninsured motorist coverage may be able to be compensated by their own insurance company to pay for the expenses caused by the hit-and-run back up accident.Were you or your child injured in vehicle backing accident in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois?
Don’t assume that the insurance carrier for driver who caused a backing vehicle accident will compensate you for your injuries. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a Chicago motor vehicle accident law firm committed to protecting your legal rights in the wake of an injury caused by backing-up a car or other type of vehicle. Please contact our attorneys to discuss your accident without any cost or obligation on your part. We offer free consultations and are always agreeable to meeting at your home, office or hospital. 888-424-5757.
Statistics and safety information about backing vehicle accidents: