Did you know that each week in the United States 40 children are injured in a backover car accident? Backover accidents happen most frequently in parking lots and driveways when a driver is unable to see a child because of a blind spot behind their vehicle. Out of the 40 children who are involved in one of these accidents every week, about two are fatally injured.
One of the major factors causing these car accidents are large blind spots behind SUVs and other large vehicles which make it impossible for drivers to see a small person behind their car as they back up. There are various proposed solutions to this problem, but to date many of them have stalled on the way to becoming regulatory requirements.
One safety feature that can prevent backover accidents is a back-up camera, but these devices are often only offered in upgraded or luxury models of a car, which a majority of buyers cannot afford. Congress has seen several bills introduced that would help make a less expensive but equally effective version of the back up camera available in all new model vehicles, but each initiative has stalled or failed to pass.
There are a variety of issues at play in accident and injury cases like these. One major issue is the problem of vehicle safety. Typically safety has been viewed through the lens of the crash test, but increasing awareness to the way that car design effects driver performance last led to a push to incorporate better technology into cars to make them safer.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “How can this happen?” Susan Carroll, Sept. 21, 2013.