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Beware of Back-up Blind Zones Behind Your Car

Accidents happen in the strangest of ways. In this instance, a man backed the family car over his son and wife.

The day started out like any normal day, except that this family was going on a special trip to introduce the 8-year-old to the local science center. The man dropped off his wife and child in the parking, planning to park the car and join them so they could enter the building together. As the man backed up his car, he ran over his wife and son. The little boy died as a result of his injuries. The wife was admitted to hospital in serious condition, but is expected to survive.

How could the man back his car over his wife and child? Couldn’t he see them out the rearview window or by using his side mirror? Running over someone behind your car is far easier than you may think, as there is a problem that most drivers are unaware of – there is a blind spot or zone behind the car. Most drivers know about the blind spot on either side of their vehicles, but few are aware of the danger zone behind them. Every vehicle has a blind spot; what many do not know is that the blind area may range from 10 feet (for a sedan) up to 30 feet (for a pick-up truck).

Each year, hundreds of kids are taken to hospital emergency rooms as a result of pedestrian-versus-vehicle accidents, just like this horrific one. Additionally, the statistics on this type of accident are not complete, as they are usually underestimated due to being under-reported. They go under-reported for a variety of reasons, including accidents where the child was injured, but did not go to hospital, or were treated at a walk-in clinic or their own doctor’s office, or they were seen at an emergency room, but were treated and sent home without being admitted to the hospital.

Back-over incidents do not happen as frequently as other forms of auto accidents, but they can be just as fatal, as this case demonstrates. They also result in more severe crush injuries than other kinds of car-versus-pedestrian accidents.

If back-over incidences are happing with such frequency, why hasn’t anyone done something about it? The good news is that someone “has” done something about it. successfully lobbied the government to make it mandatory that cars made in 2014 come equipped with back-up cameras. The added visibility is a step in the right direction and many personal injury attorneys applaud the organization for their advocacy. No lawyer wants to deal with a wrongful death lawsuit of a child who died under the wheels of a car as it backed up over them, because the driver, whether they are related to the child or not, did not see them.

Stay safe. Keep your children safe.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit

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