A backover accident is when a person is hit by a driver who did not see them while they were backing up their car. What makes these accidents so tragic is that the large majority of victims are children under the age of just 5 years old – the highest risk group being toddlers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, back-over vehicle accidents are responsible for 228 deaths and 17,000 injuries each year.

The driver in a backover accident is usually someone who knows the victim. This can be a parent, grandparent, relative or someone the child knows. These accidents take place in residential driveways most of the time, but can also happen in any parking lot. The reason children are so vulnerable is that they are difficult to see and easy to miss in the mirror when someone is ready to back up their car. Children at a young age also have no concept of danger and don’t realize and fully understand the danger of a car backing up.

Here are some factors in back-over accidents and steps to help prevent them: The vehicle factor

  • Vehicle Size: Large vehicles like SUVs, vans, and trucks can make it difficult to check behind before backing up because the vehicle is higher off the ground.
  • Blind spots: Some vehicles have bigger blind spots than others. Even though the general rule has always been “the bigger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot”, newer sports cars that are embracing the retro look also have large blind spots. The Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger are just a few examples of newer body types with large blind spots.
  • How quiet or loud is your vehicle: As smaller cars and hybrids gain popularity, we have to keep in mind that these types of cars are incredibly quiet and sometimes difficult to tell if they are even on.
  • Vehicle rearview cameras or sensors: Vehicles now include these items or in some cases you can add them on. Simple technology that can make all the difference in the world.

Back-over accident prevention steps for parents

  • Supervise children: this is the easiest and most effective step. When someone is getting ready to leave, make sure children are accounted for. Also, a quick check around the vehicle takes 5 seconds and can save a child’s life.
  • Teach them: Even though we should continue to supervise, teaching a child can help a great deal in preventing a tragic accident. Teach them from an early age to never played behind a vehicle. Keep vehicle keys away from kids. If kids play near the driveway, then park your car at the end of the street. You can also explain to your kids why being behind a vehicle is dangerous and even show them how hard it is to see from the back of a vehicle window.


The car accident attorneys at MADALON LAW hope you never have to retain an attorney for this type of accident, but we are available and will provide a free consultation.