Everyone understands driving is dangerous and the utmost care must be exercised when doing so in order to avoid accidents which could lead to severe injury and even death. But most people don’t think of how dangerous something as simple as backing out of your driveway or even a parking spot can be. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) somewhere between 180 and 300 people, most of them children, are killed each year as a result of being hit by drivers backing up and approximately 18,000 more are
injured. These numbers are astounding considering the fact that drivers operating in reverse are travelling at relatively low speeds, so what causes the accidents and further, what can be done to prevent them?
Lack of Attention: Many times drivers who are in a hurry just whip out of their driveway or parking spot without even looking. This is increasingly common with drivers who are familiar with their surrounds, i.e., their driveway. The problem is that there might be someone behind you and by not taking the time to look you may cost someone their life. Some drivers also simply aren’t paying attention. they go through the motions of looking at their mirrors, but because they’re distracted by either their phone or something else they continue to back up without even realizing anyone is their.
Blind Spots: Every vehicle has blind spots, that’s just the way it is. For the most part, the bigger the vehicle the bigger the blind spot and the harder it is to see if someone, especially a small child, has crept in behind your vehicle. Sometimes even checking every mirror and even turning to look over both shoulders won’t reveal that someone is behind you if they are in a blind spot. It shouldn’t be surprising that most people killed or injured in back up accidents are children who are small enough to fit into blind spots.
So how can these problems be fixed?
Paying More Attention: Simply making sure you look in every possible directions should will help decrease backup accidents. As stated above many of these accidents are due to mere inattention. Remember, driving is a privilege that should be taken seriously and handled with the utmost care at all times.
Backup Cameras: Backup cameras that some vehicles now come equipped with severely diminish and in some cases almost completely eliminate blind spots. The more vehicles that are equipped with these devices the better, but even with them full attention must be paid for them to work.
Reverse Alarms: Beep! Beep! Beep! – That should create a response of making you more alert, at least that’s the idea behind them. Do they actually help or are they just annoying? No one really knows, but the hope is that they at least help a little.
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