Back-over accidents are increasingly common, particularly among children. KidsAndCars.org states that 50 children are injured on average in these accidents every week, and at least two result in fatalities. Every year, over 17,000 injuries and around 228 fatalities occur in back-over accidents, and a majority of the victims are children between 12 and 23 months old. Most of these accidents (about 70%) occur when the parent or another close relative is the driver. If someone’s negligence is responsible for back-over accidents, many personal injury attorneys have experience in representing victims for monetary compensation, which is what more parents are seeking.
An Act that Could Save Lives
In 2008, the U.S. Congress directed the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, which would help improve rear visibility in vehicles by requiring vehicles to be equipped with backup cameras or other developments. President George W. Bush signed the law, and the DOT was given a deadline of three years to put the rule into effect.
In spite of the deadline, five years have passed with no action taken. The DOT has delayed the rule four times, claiming more research needs to be conducted before it can go into effect. Early 2015 is the next targeted deadline. As a result, vehicle safety—as it pertains to backing up—has not been improved. According to the NHTSA, 1,100 deaths and 85,000 injuries have occurred in back-over accidents since the U.S. Congress conceived the deadline.
Many parents and members of groups such as Consumers Union of the United States, Kids And Cars, Inc. and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety are filing lawsuits against the DOT for their failure to meet deadlines. The efforts are accompanying those of personal injury attorneys to encourage safer vehicles and driver behavior.
It’s currently not known how much the DOT will react to the lawsuits, or if they will accomplish anything soon. In the meantime, personal injury lawyers are available to help direct victims of accidents receive compensation from negligent parties responsible for back-over accidents.