Approximately 25% of all vehicle-related accidents can be attributed to backing up. This has contributed to over 500 deaths and 15,000 injuries each year. But less than 1% of a driver’s time behind the wheel is spent on reversing.
According to a recent article, a 2-year-old boy was involved in a tragic accident that led to his death in Naples, Maine. The boy’s father was backing out of the driveway at his residence in a pickup truck, but he unfortunately could not see the child in his way. Life-saving measures failed to revive the boy.
Accidents like these are devastating but can often be preventable. Drivers can follow safety tips to ensure back-up accidents are minimized. When drivers fail to follow tips, victims should call a personal injury attorney to discuss any potential claims. While monetary compensation cannot heal the wounds created by these tragic accidents, it can ease the logistical and financial pains that occur.
How to Prevent Backing Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that over 90% of back-up accidents happen because the driver was not aware of the obstacle or the driver used improper techniques. While some obstacles arise out of no fault of the driver, drivers should still be careful to check their surroundings and use the appropriate techniques.
When backing up, drivers should make sure they have enough clearance to safely complete their backup. In addition, drivers should check for objects in the rear of their vehicle and stay alert for objects that move into their backing path. Vehicles often have blind spots that should be thoroughly accounted for. Knowing your vehicle’s blind spots is a key element to safe driving and backing up.
In addition to checking for obstacles, drivers should avoid backing up unless absolutely necessary. When they must back up, they should use helpers whenever possible to assist in backing with hand signals and audio cues. In the absence of a helper or guide, walking around the vehicle can assure a driver there are no lurking stationary obstacles. When backing, drivers should use all available aids, including all three rearview mirrors, any reflections of their vehicle in other cars or buildings, and shadows. Rearview camera systems can be installed even in older vehicles that do not have them already to help reduce rear blind spots. Finally, moving slowly and avoiding backing into traffic can help a driver safely navigate in reverse. Drivers who fail to take these safety measures may be liable for damages in accidents they cause.
Contact a Maine Personal Injury Lawyer Today
When drivers fail to follow these tips, lives can be at stake. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a driver who failed to take the appropriate safety precautions, call a Maine personal injury attorney. The team at Peter Thompson & Associates are award-winning attorneys who have recovered millions for their clients in Portland, Bangor, Falmouth, Augusta, Lewiston, Rockland, and beyond. For a free, no-obligation consultation with a Maine personal injury attorney, call us today at 1-800-804-2004.