Millions of homeowners have driveways they back out of on a daily basis. However, it is possible to hit children or pets while backing out of a driveway or even an apartment complex parking lot. Depending on the circumstances, it may be difficult or even impossible to see a small child playing behind your vehicle. Unfortunately, children die this way each year.
At Hilton & Somer, LLC, our attorneys are dedicated to helping our communities with safety tips that can prevent injuries and deaths. Parents can follow the tips below to prevent a backover accident.
1. Check Around Your Vehicle
You should never rely solely on mirrors to provide information about your surroundings. While mirrors are essential for avoiding certain types of accidents, they cannot show you whether a small child is playing behind your vehicle.
You should exit your vehicle and check behind and underneath it to ensure that no pets or children are nearby. Check around your vehicle just to be sure no pets or children approach while you are backing out.
2. Teach Your Children Not to Play Near Vehicles
You can help your children avoid falling victim to a backover accident by teaching them to never play near vehicles or areas where vehicles could be in motion. This means driveways, parking lots and streets should be areas your children see as “off limits.”
Education must be a central part of any campaign to prevent car accidents, including deaths involving backover accidents.
3. Avoid Distractions While Backing Out
You need to be able to hear your surroundings to avoid colliding with pets or other people. Turn down the radio and pay close attention to your surroundings. Try to listen for any people or pets that might be near your vehicle while you are backing out of a garage or driveway. You should also take a careful look around before backing out of your garage or driveway.
4. Never Drink and Drive
You should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Not only does it affect your judgment, it also affects your reaction time. You may not be able to stop in time to avoid collisions with other objects or people. Your visual and spatial awareness are also negatively affected by alcohol.
5. Make Sure Your Driveway Has Adequate Lighting
There will be times where it is necessary to back out of your driveway at night or during late evening hours. If a pet or child is behind your vehicle, and there is not enough lighting, you may be unable to see them in time to avoid a collision.
Rear-headlights provide some lighting, but you want to make sure you have adequate visibility while backing out of your driveway. You should not rely on rear lights or cameras and sensors alone.
6. Be Prepared to Hit the Brakes
You should be prepared to stop at a moment’s notice. Keep in mind that you may need to suddenly brake while backing out of a parking lot or driveway. You should also back out as cautiously and slowly as possible.
About Our Fairfax Personal Injury Lawyers
The Fairfax personal injury lawyers at Hilton & Somer, LLC have experience with auto and pedestrian accident cases. We can explain your legal rights after a car accident.
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