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Back-Over Car Accidents in Fort Myers a Holiday Threat to Pedestrians

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has previously proposed to require rear-view cameras on all vehicles to help prevent back-over car accidents in Fort Myers and elsewhere. With Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, it’s a popular time for friends and family to gather for holiday celebrations. With the beautiful Florida weather, children will get to play outside during many of these celebrations. With this comes the fear of back-over accidents injuring and killing small children. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in parking lots and in residential roadways.
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“There is no more tragic accident than for a parent or caregiver to back out of a garage or driveway and kill or injure an undetected child playing behind the vehicle,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Our Fort Myers car accident attorneys understand that back-over accidents commonly occur at low speeds and typically happen as a driver backs out of a driveway or out of a parking space. Pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles are more likely to cause one of these accidents because of their size and their large blind spots, but all vehicles are capable of this devastating accident. All motorists are encouraged to look completely around their vehicle before getting in and reversing to help prevent one of these accidents.

The NHTSA is looking to make back-up cameras standard on all vehicles by 2013. These cameras would be automatic and would turn on whenever a vehicle is in reverse. While the new technology will help to reduce the frequency of these accidents, driver awareness is still the number one preventative. You’re urged to always make sure of where your children are and to make sure there’s no one behind your vehicle before starting your car and backing up.

Pedestrians of all ages, but especially the elderly and children, are at a risk of being a victim of one of these types of accidents.

According to the NHTSA, there are nearly 300 people killed and another 18,000 injured every year because of back-over accidents in the U.S. Of those killed in these accidents, more than 220 involved a vehicle that weighed less than 10,000 pounds. More than 40 percent of these fatalities involved children under five, which illustrates a high percentage of victims among any age group. Nearly 35 percent of the fatalities were experienced by pedestrians over the age of 69.

Here are some safety tips from the NHTSA:

-Teach young ones to never play in or around vehicles.

-Always keep a close eye on young ones when they’re near vehicles.

-Always walk completely around your vehicle before reversing.

-Teach children to move away from vehicles whenever a driver gets in a car or when a vehicle starts.

-Have your children stand away from driveways and on a sidewalk so you can see them as you back out.

-Back up slowly so that children can react in case they dash behind your car unexpectedly.

-Take extra care when reversing in a large vehicle. Roll down your windows while reversing so you can hear what’s going on as your back up.

-Teach children to keep bikes and toys out of the driveway.

If you or your child has been injured in a car accident, or someone you know has died in a vehicle crash, in Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral or Sebring, contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, for a knowledgeable explanation regarding your rights. Experienced injury lawyers are available for a free appointment to discuss your case in detail by calling 1-800-283-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Video Campaign Illustrating Pedestrian Accidents in Florida Deemed Too Graphic by Senator, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 28, 2011

5-Star Ratings and Crash Avoidance Technologies Can Reduce the Risk of Injuries in Naples Car Accidents, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 9, 2011