Tragedy In the Driveway: Backover Accidents

On the kid’s safety website Kids and Cars, one mother recalls one of the most horrifying moments of her life. She was headed out of the house, leaving her 3-year-old daughter with a babysitter, when her daughter, like many young children are prone to do, decided to say one last goodbye to her mother. The daughter ran outside as her mom was leaving the driveway. Unable to see her small child in her blind spot, the mom backed up the car and hit her own daughter.

The little girl suffered some facial abrasions, but survived the horrifying accident. Her mother, though, admits that she is still experiences guilt over nearly killing her daughter. And unfortunately, many stories about backover accidents — accidents that involved a backing vehicle hitting a non-vehicle occupant, like a pedestrian — do not have happier endings.

Backover Accidents Have Tragic Results

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 221 people were killed in backover accidents between 2002 and 2006. An additional 14,000 were injured. 173 of the fatalities involved a passenger vehicle, while the others likely involved garbage trucks or other commercial vehicles. While accidents that happen in driveways are often the most high-profile and dramatic, backover accidents can happen anywhere. This includes parking lots and public roads.

Of course, backover accidents involving children are particularly horrifying. According to statistics, around 50 children are backed over by a vehicle every week. Most victims are under the age of one. And to make matters worse, the driver who hits the child is usually a parent or close relative, like in the situation above. For parents, the idea of accidentally hurting your child is painful and nerve-racking.

Backover Accident Prevention

These accidents are preventable, though. Follow some very simple steps every time you leave the house:

  • Before backing out of your driveway, look around for any children. If children are playing outside, know where they are before you begin to move
  • Let any nearby children know that you will be backing up your car, and tell them to stay out of the way until the coast is clear
  • Teach your kids not to play behind cars or run out of the house without telling you or a  family member
  • Remove any toys from the driveway, so that kids will not try to run out and retrieve them
  • If necessary, get out of the car and remove any obstructions
  • Make sure your windows and seat are properly adjusted
  • Know your blind spots
  • If your car has a backup camera, don’t just rely on it. Turn around and look over your seat for any children, pedestrians, or possible obstructions
  • Back up slowly and carefully

By following these steps at home, you can prevent a tragedy from happening in your own driveway. When in parking lots and other public places, be constantly aware of others drivers. If another driver recklessly backs into you, a child, or another loved one, you might be able to take legal action as a pedestrian.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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