Most Virginia drivers know about the dangers posed by backing up a vehicle, especially larger ones like SUVs, large pickup trucks, or minivans. These days, many new vehicles are offered with backup cameras, in an effort to avoid tragedy. However, back-over accidents still kill and injure Virginians every year.
According to the NHTSA every year 18,000 adults and children are hurt and 292 killed in back-over crashes. Those most often injured or killed in back-over accidents are the very young and the very old. About 44 percent of fatal back-over accidents involve children under the age of 5, while 33 percent of fatalities involve people over the age of 70.
Children are vulnerable because of their small size (they cannot be seen by the driver) and because they don’t yet understand how dangerous moving vehicles can be. Elderly people at risk because they may not be able to move out of the way fast enough, or they may not be mentally fit enough to understand that they have to move away.
In an effort to cut down on the number of back-over injuries and deaths, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently proposed new safety regulations. These regulations aim to reduce blind spots behind vehicles, so drivers can see what they are doing when they back up.
The proposal includes provisions to:
- Expand the required field of view for all passenger cars, pickup trucks, minivans, buses and low-speed vehicles with a gross weight up to 10,000 pounds. Drivers must be able to see directly behind the vehicle when the transmission is in reverse (rear-mounted backup cameras would meet this requirement).
- Require 10 percent of new vehicles to comply with the regulations by September 2012, 40 percent by September 2013, and 100 percent by September 2014.
Of course, technology to help drivers be more aware of their surroundings is only as effective as the driver using it. The responsibility is still on individual drivers to monitor their surroundings and be very careful when backing up, especially at home or in parking lots.
Get help with a back-over accident case in Virginia
Please contact our Warrenton or Culpeper office today to discuss your back-over accident case with one of our skilled, compassionate attorneys. We will review your case for no cost or obligation, and will help you get justice and fair compensation.
DULANEY, LAUER & THOMAS, LLP
98 Alexandria Pike, Suite 11
Warrenton, VA 20186
Toll Free: 888.907.2631
209 N. West Street
Culpeper, VA 22701
Toll Free: 800.741.1012