As every parent surely knows, nothing is more important than the safety of your children.  Still each year, 115,000 children’s injuries occur and 262 wrongful deaths happen to children under the age of 14.

That is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has started its Child Passenger Safety program “Keeping Kids Safe: Inside and Out.”  As personal injury attorneys, we will forward is information along as a six-part series entitled Avoiding Children’s Injuries.  In part one, we will look at how a backover auto accident can lead to a child’s wrongful death.

Many children’s injuries and wrongful deaths occur each year when children are run over in a back-over car accident, but that does not mean it needs to continue that way.  Here are the NHTSA tips to prevent children’s injuries from occurring in a back-over auto accident:

  • Teach children not to play in or around cars.  You should also teach them not to play with toys or bike in driveways.
  • Supervise children carefully when in and around automobiles.
  • Always walk around your automobile and check the area around it before backing up.
  • Be aware of small children (smaller children will be harder to see).
  • Teach children to move away from an automobile when a driver gets in or if the car has started.
  • Look behind your car and use your mirrors — while backing up slowly — to prevent a pedestrian accident should a child run into your path (do not just rely on backup cameras and warnings sounds, should your car be equipped).  Bigger automobiles — like SUVs and trucks — have larger blind spots, so you should roll down your windows when backing up.

The NHTSA also wants car drivers to know the following about blind spots (the area around your car that you cannot see from your mirrors and are often the cause of a car accident):

  • Every automobile has blind spots, and as the size and height and weight of a car increase so do the size of blind spots.
  • Many different things (height of the driver’s seat, shape of windows and mirrors, slope of road or driveway, etc.) affect the size of a car’s blind spots.
  • Trucks, SUVs and vans are more likely to be involved in a backover pedestrian accident.
  • Backover pedestrian accidents are often the result of a child following a parent or guardian to the driveway without them knowing.

As personal injury lawyers, we hope that this series on avoiding children’s injuries will help lower these kinds of accidents that often require medical treatment and wrongful death statistics.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Avoiding Children’s Injuries Part 2: Summer Heat.

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