SPOT THE TOT
Back over injuries typically occur when vehicles are backing out of driveways or parking spaces and the driver did not see the child. All vehicles have blind spots; the blind spot is the place behind your vehicle that you cannot see in the rear or side view mirrors. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot and the shorter the driver, the larger the blind spot. In addition, the elevation of the driver’s seat, the shape of a vehicle’s windows and mirrors, and the slope of a driveway can affect the size of the blind spot behind a vehicle.
DID YOU KNOW?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that each year, back-over vehicle accidents cause an average of 228 deaths, and 17,000 injuries. (NHTSA 2012)
Small children are difficult for a driver to see when backing up. You can protect a child from becoming a victim of back overs by:
• Teach children not to play in or around cars.
• Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles.
• Always walk around your vehicle and check the area around it before backing up.
• Be aware of small children-the smaller a child, the more likely it is you will not see them.
• Teach children to move away from a vehicle when a driver gets in it or if the car is started.
• Have children in the area stand to the side of the driveway or sidewalk so you can see them as you are backing out of a driveway or parking space.
• Make sure to look behind you while backing up slowly in case a child dashes behind your vehicle unexpectedly.
• Take extra care if you drive a large vehicle because they are likely to have bigger blind zones. Roll down your windows while backing out of your driveway or parking space so that you'll be able to hear what is happening outside of your vehicle.
• Teach your children to keep their toys and bikes out of the driveway.
• Because kids can move unpredictably, you should actively check your mirrors while backing up.
• Many new cars are equipped with detection devices like backup cameras or warning sounds, but they cannot take the place of you actively walking around your car to make sure your children are safely out of the way. Do not rely solely on these devices to detect what's behind your vehicle.
Teach kids to play away from vehicles. Parents should place their keys where they cannot be used by children to gain access to the vehicle. Children may be able to get inside and may not be able to get out which is a concern for hyperthermia. Also they may open the trunk and crawl inside to play or hide and not be able to get back out. Teach your children that “the car is NO place to play”.