With summer finally here, children are beginning to play in their neighborhood streets and driveways, which increases the risk children face with frontover and backover accidents. In 2010, there were 70 frontover fatalities and 60 backover fatalities because children cannot be seen around vehicles. Toddlers 12-23 months represent 70% of these victims. These young children are most at risk because they are unable to realize and comprehend the dangers associated with moving vehicles.
According to Janette Fennell, president and founder of KidsAndCars.org, “Children often don’t want to be left behind when a beloved relative is leaving; they impulsively follow them out and put themselves in a dangerous position near the vehicle where they can’t be seen.” The same thing happens when parents come home from work, and their children come running out to greet them. All vehicles have some sort of blind spots in the rear, front and corners, and even with proper use of the mirror, accidents can happen. Furthermore, inclines can increase the blind zones of these vehicles and increase the risk of a frontover or backover.
As for backover prevention, rear camera units are now being installed in newer model vehicles, which will decrease the risk of backover accidents. However, preventing frontovers continues to be a serious concern. Fennell advises, “KidsAndCars.org will continue to raise awareness and work to find solutions to eliminate these tragedies.”