As many families prepare for a three-day weekend of fun, there are some safety concerns to keep in mind with extra kids and visitors around the house. Vehicles, in particular, pose a risk to children. Backovers and frontovers account for 64% of non-traffic automobile fatalities among children. Backovers and frontovers are defined as an accident involving a vehicle driving out of a parked area from the “back” or “front.”
Watch out for the “blind zone,” not just blind spots
While the hidden area on the side of your car is called the “blind spot,” the “blind zone” surrounds the front and rear of your vehicle.
According to Kidsandcars.org, the area behind the vehicle responsible for backover accidents and the area in front that causes frontover accidents is the blind zone. In general, the blind zone for most vehicles measures 7 to 8 feet wide and 20 to 30 feet long. However, the blind zone can vary by driver height and type of vehicle.
Frontovers and backovers often happen from a child running to greet a vehicle, trying to say good-bye to a driver, or following a parent out to the car. 50 children are injured every week from vehicles backing up and 70% of those cases involve parents or relatives.
Here are 5 tips to prevent backover and frontover accidents:
- Always hold your children’s hands when around vehicles.
- Limit landscaping around your driveway. This increases visibility around your blind zone.
- Beware that steep inclines can dramatically increase the blind zone. The combination of a steep driveway and an SUV can be even more dangerous. Over 80% of “frontover incidents involved a truck, van, or SUV.
- Teach your children to never enter the driveway without permission, even to great a relative.
- Measure your “blind zone” in every car you drive and always be conscious and aware when driving. You can find your car’s blind zone here.
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