Driveway Safety: How to Protect Your Kids from Backover Accidents

Driveway Safety

Many kids die every year in backover accidents near or on the driveways at their home. Tragically, a parent (or any other adult member of the victim’s family) is behind the wheels when the fatal accidents happen. When kids are playing or standing too close to a parked car, they’re often dangerously out of the driver’s view while they are reversing. Due to the frequency of such non-traffic accidents involving pedestrians, car safety equipment meant to eliminate backup blind spots has become very popular today.

Learn more about how you can protect your kids from backover accidents at home.

Non-Traffic Auto Accidents Occur Often

According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, backovers account for 232 deaths and 13,000 injuries annually on average.  Many of these fatalities occur in driveways and parking lots when the area behind the vehicle is out of the driver’s view.

At homes, most pedestrian collisions occur when a minor suddenly runs in front of or behind the car just before it begins to move. The vehicle might be backing up slowly, but it’s usually heavy enough to severely injure or even kill a minor in a backover accident.

Legislation Introduced to Enhance Driveway and Parking Lot Safety

On October 19, 2002, Greg Gulbransen killed his 2-year-old son in a backover accident. The tragedy inspired new legislation that came into effect years later to compel automakers to install parking lot and driveway safety features in the new vehicles. The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act came into force in 2014. Then, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandated the gradual inclusion of backup cameras in new vehicles by May 1, 2018.

Incorporating Pedestrian Safety in Car Design

Many automakers started making pedestrian safety changes years before the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act became a law. For example, the 2011 Volvo S60 incorporated radar technology and cameras to detect objects near the car. The warning system is designed to function well in light or darkness. It alerts the driver after detecting a pedestrian within a specified range of the car. What if the driver fails to respond to the alarm sound quickly enough? In that case, the pedestrian safety system autonomously stops the car, avoiding hitting the person or object.

As a Driver, Play Your Role to Prevent Backup Accidents

Don’t solely rely on backup cameras or warning sounds to detect what’s behind your car in the driveway. These detection systems are designed to complement rather than replace you in actively scanning your vehicle’s surroundings to make sure that all pedestrians are safely out of the way. As kids may suddenly appear from nowhere, ensure to actively check your mirrors when backing up.

As a loving parent and concerned driver, you’ll want to do your best to prevent driveway accidents that could injure or kill minors. Don’t forget to always carry adequate auto insurance coverage. If you have any questions about comprehensive or liability insurance protection for drivers, contact the team at Gee-Schussler Insurance Agency. We serve Orland Park and surrounding cities in Illinois.