Accidents occur all the time, but some of the most devastating ones occur in or near driveways. Sometimes these incidents involve small children being hurt by friends or families in your own driveway; other times pedestrians or cyclists are injured by vehicles pulling out of driveways related to fast food restaurants or other businesses. Heartbreakingly, thousands of children are seriously injured or killed in these terrible accidents every single year, leading to long-term physical, mental, and emotional recuperation. Whatever the details of your particular case, if you or a loved one has experienced significant harm in a driveway accident, the advocacy of a local personal injury attorney may prove to be a comfort.
It may astound you to learn that child fatalities resulting from a backing vehicle account for nearly one-third of all non-traffic related vehicle deaths in children under the age of 15. This is equal to the number of front rollover fatalities, and followed by deaths connected to heatstroke in children left in vehicles. Somewhere in this country, 50 or more children are backed over every week, two of them lose their lives, the other 48 are hospitalized. All 50 families suffer the agony of watching a beloved child suffer.
Children seem to have all the reasons in the world to end up in a driveway. Bouncing balls, hopscotch, or they could simply be examining a snail or beetle with the innate curiosity that comes with youth, just pick a reason. But it only takes an instant for a sunshiny day to turn to disaster. What can you do to avoid tragically running over a child in your driveway? Experts suggest a range of ideas:
- Circle of Safety: Take a 30 second inspection of the area behind and around your vehicle before starting up. Kids playing a short distance away could unexpectedly bound into your path, so make yourself very aware of any potential problems.
- Eye contact: If there are children in the vicinity, attempt to maintain eye contact with them while baking out. Even if they aren’t looking at you, keep your eyes on them!
- Pause: Never back out too quickly. Even when you are running late, remember that it only takes seconds for an accident to occur, and surveying the area to prevent such an incident could be a few seconds well spent.
- Training: Teach your kids, and the neighbor kids, as well, that your driveway is for cars, not play. Don’t allow toys to rest or games to take place here.
- Parking brake: Avoid rollaway vehicles by ensuring the parking brake is securely engaged.
Facts Worth Noting
One study examined the pathways children took prior to back-over accidents. The statistics show just how a driver’s caution could save a life:
- Roughly one-third of incidents have no witnesses to provide insights;
- 28 percent of accidents involve children approaching the vehicle from either side;
- 22 percent of accidents involve children who were behind the vehicle the entire time;
- 20 percent of accidents related to children falling from an open hatch or running up to the vehicle as it was leaving and falling behind the vehicle, unbeknownst to the driver.
The aftermath of such an accident can include unspeakable grief and pain. The Baltimore car accident attorneys at the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, LLC can help recover damages to address the consequences of such an accident. Schedule your confidential consultation in our office today.