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Report: Hundreds of people die ever year due to backover accidents


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Child Safety Program says 210 people die and 15 hundred people are injured in backovers every year.

Amber Rollins, director of, a national non-profit organization said backover incidents are preventable and are often mistakes that don't happen maliciously.

The report states that a backover incident typically occurs when a vehicle coming out of a driveway or parking space backs over an unattended child because the driver did not see the child.

“Most people think about things like this that happened in their community is freak accidents,”  said Rollins. “And people are shocked to learn that actually 50 children every week are backed over because the driver couldn't see them.”

The Columbia Police Department said in a news release that a 3-year-old boy died after being hit as a 29-year-old woman was backing into a driveway. Police said the child ran into her GMC Yukon's path on the 1300 block of Carolina Drive of Columbia on Wednesday afternoon. 

Police said the rear passenger side of the Yukon hit the child and that the boy was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

“When we're talking about an SUV the size of a Yukon,” said Rollins. “That blind zone is enormous. Some trucks and SUVs have blinds of up to 50 feet where a child that age couldn't be seen.”

NHTSA states that vehicle crashes are the number one leading cause of death for children between one and 13 years old and that in 2015 every 33 seconds one child under the age of 13 was involved in a crash.

A NHTSA list of prevention tips states that many cars are equipped with detection devices that provide rearview video or warning sounds, such as back up cameras, but that there are still hazards to look for as the devices cannot completely take the place of actively walking around your car to make sure children are safely out of the way.

“If you don’t have a backup camera in your car right now,” Rollin said. “You can get one for relatively cheap. Like I said, the fact of the matter is you can't avoid hitting something that you can't see.”

The report also suggests drivers roll down their windows while backing out of a driveway or parking space so that they will be able to hear what is happening outside of the vehicle.

The NHTSA states that other potential dangers that involve kids and cars is heatstroke, rollaway and seat belt entanglement.

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Amber Tabeling

Amber joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in December 2019. She was a student-athlete at Parkland College and Missouri Valley College. She hails from a small town in Illinois.


1 Comment

  1. And the more automated vehicles become, the less attention is paid to the act of driving. It’s a skill that needs to be continuously improved, not one you can assume is acquired once a license is in your possession. It has devolved into an inconvenient thing one must do that distracts from your cell phone while you go from A to B.

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