Consumers across the San Francisco Bay area have seen the commercial for the new Infiniti JX, the new sport utility vehicle with a built in back-up camera. In fact, many automakers have incorporated the technology in their new offerings and it has become an impressive safety feature.
Unfortunately, the story of a Monterey County mother accidentally backing over her child is a tragedy that ostensibly could have been avoided. According to an ABC 7 News report, the mother and her husband had lost track of their 4-year-old while preparing for the day. As she was preparing to leave for work, she started to back out of her driveway when she heard a scream. She exited the car to find that she had hit her son.
As expected, the mother was very distraught as her little boy had suffered very serious injuries.
Children’s backover accidents are unfortunate and increasingly common. According to KidsandCars.org, at least 50 children and injured and two are killed each week in such accidents. Moreover, a parent (or someone the child knows) is behind the wheel when they occur.
As such, the numbers suggest that parents (and all drivers) must be aware of their surroundings when backing out of a driveway. They have a legal duty to do so, and could be held liable for the injuries the cause in failing to look out for hazards at the end of the driveway. Backup cameras may help in meeting that duty, especially when the vehicle has significant blind spots (such as a truck or SUV).
Source: KidsandCars.org, Backovers; ABC 7News.com, Mother backing out of driveway hits 4-year-old son, April 8 2013