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Backing out of a driveway or parking space can kill

People may have heard about a horrifying accident that occurred in San Diego last month. A toddler was crushed to death in the driveway of a home when a woman backed her SUV out, unknowingly running the 16-month-old child over. The driver didn't even realize she had hit the child, and backed away, leaving the victim helpless and bleeding in the driveway. The toddler was found by a 10-year-old boy and rushed to a local hospital, but the injuries were too severe and attempts to save the child ultimately were not enough.

Sadly, fatal back-over accidents like this one happen far too often. In October, a 5-year-old Ramona girl was fatally run over by her own mother as she backed her minivan out. "This is a tragic situation that is unfortunately very common," said a sergeant with the San Diego police. In fact, accidents like this occur about 50 times a week across the United States.

People need to be extremely careful when backing their vehicles out, no matter where they are. The blind spot on many vehicles is more than large enough to conceal a child from the driver's sight lines, and failing to take a closer look before backing out could easily result in a death. For this reason, many new vehicles come with back-up cameras as standard equipment. But still, drivers need to always be on guard, especially when they are in a place where children may be present. A driver who fails to take reasonable precautions or keep a proper lookout may face liability if they are involved in an injury incident.

Thousands of children are injured in back-over accidents each year, and more than 100 of these accidents turn fatal. The driver of a vehicle may be held responsible for the injuries they cause in such situations, and victims and their families may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and other damages suffered.

Source: CBS 8 "Dangerous blind spots: preventing 'backover' accidents," Richard Allyn, Nov. 21, 2013

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