Reversing in a vehicle is a challenge for many drivers, and the limited visibility and unfamiliar maneuvering of backing up can lead to a risky driving situation. When drivers fail to check for pedestrians, obstacles, vehicles, and bicyclists, their negligence can lead to accidents that cause substantial injuries.

What are Backover Accidents?

Backover accidents occur when a vehicle backs up and hits or runs over someone. These accidents cause many non-occupant traffic deaths and injuries each year, with children being the most common victims. Backover accidents became such a significant safety concern for pedestrians and children that backup cameras have been required by law in all new vehicles since 2018. While the added safety features of backup cameras and backup alarms have helped reduce the number of people injured in backover accidents, they have not completely eliminated these incidents.

Not all accidents that happen while going in reverse are considered backover accidents. Collisions with objects and other vehicles can also occur when reversing, and accidents while backing up can cause significant damage even when traveling at slow speeds.

What Causes Accidents While Backing Up?

Backover accidents present a significant risk to pedestrians, especially children, because of the potential for catastrophic injury after being hit or run over by a vehicle. Even motorists and passengers in other cars can be harmed when drivers do not reverse safely and carefully. While backing up is less common than driving forward, there are still numerous ways that these types of accidents can occur.

Parking Lots

AAA recommends drivers back into parking spots because pulling forward out of a spot is safer than reversing. Visibility is especially poor when neighboring vehicles are blocking the view, and accidents while backing up are common in parking lots.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a serious issue on the roads, regardless of the direction a driver is traveling. Even when reversing, distractions can cause collisions. Drivers may check behind them once and then look away, assuming the path remains clear, or they may think that pedestrians and other motorists will notice them and stay out of the way. Whatever the cause of distracted reversing, drivers who are negligent when backing up could be liable for the damage they cause.

Pedal Confusion

It may seem like a novice mistake to confuse the gas and brake pedals, but even experienced drivers can become confused when backing up. Slamming on the gas when trying to brake causes the vehicle to accelerate forcefully. When a person or another vehicle is behind the reversing car, this can cause serious injuries or even death.

Blind Spots

Visibility behind a vehicle is not as good as in front, which is one of the main contributors to accidents while backing up. Blind spots when reversing mean that a child, bicyclist, or other vehicle can go unseen by the reversing driver. Some vehicles have very large blind spots, requiring extra caution when backing up.

What to do After an Accident While Backing Up

If a reversing driver hits you or your vehicle, the steps are similar to those you would take after other types of accidents. The most important action you can take after an accident is to seek medical attention. If paramedics are on the scene, have them check you for injuries, even if you believe you’re unharmed. Prioritizing your health is the most important step after a car accident.

Once you are sure it’s safe, you will also want to:

  • Exchange information with the driver
  • Notify the police and get a police report
  • Collect witness information
  • Take pictures of the scene
  • Contact an attorney

Legal Guidance After an Accident While Backing Up

While some car crashes and collisions are unfortunate accidents that no one could have prevented, many are caused by an inattentive or negligent driver. The car accident attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, have been helping injured people receive the compensation they deserve for more than a combined 100 years. Our knowledge, experience, and dedication will be valuable resources in your injury case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.