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How can You Avoid Backing-Up Accidents?

This might sound surprising, but car accidents that involve a vehicle is backing up can have serious consequences for everyone involved. The Ohio Department of Transportation found that between 2010 to 2014, backing-up accidents represented 4.5% of motor vehicle accidents in the state. Supporting these findings, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that approximately 292 people each year are killed in backing-up accidents while another 18,000 individuals are injured.

Some individuals are at an increased risk of being harmed by these accidents, including children and senior citizens. One of the best ways to avoid being involved in a devastating backing-up accident is to understand some of the important details about how they occur.

The Dangers Presented by Backing-Up Accidents

It is dangerous to back up a vehicle without looking behind you. Besides the risk of striking someone, there is also a risk that you will collide with a stationary object or even an approaching vehicle. It should come as no surprise that backing-up accidents often have tragic consequences.

Backing-up accidents frequently result in long-lasting and life-changing injuries including brain damage, broken bones, internal organ injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Besides causing injuries, backing-up accidents also commonly result in substantial property damage.

Rear Cameras Will Not Eliminate Backing-Up Accidents

Many newer motor vehicles are equipped with backup cameras. While these cameras make backing up safer, they will never eliminate the risk of accidents. The advantage of these cameras is they allow motor vehicle drivers to see what is behind the vehicle without looking. Some vehicles even contain the added advantage of motion sensors that will sound an alarm if something is in the path of the vehicle.

One of the greatest risks presented by backup cameras is that they are known to make errors, which means that drivers who are entirely reliant on them might end up colliding with an object. Drivers are often better off physically looking behind and below their vehicle before backing up. Drivers should physically look backward in addition to making use of rear and side-view mirrors.

Decisions of Liability Following Backing-Up Accidents

When backing-up accidents occur, it can be complicated to determine who is liable for the resulting injuries and damages. Making determinations of responsibility is critical for deciding how compensation is awarded, however, and your personal injury attorney can help.

Ohio is a fault-based insurance state, which means that following an accident, a person will be required to pursue a claim with the insurance carrier of the driver who is responsible for causing the accident. This is often the best method to begin pursuing compensation for the damages that arise after a backing-up accident.

If you were a pedestrian or bicyclist at the time that the backing-up accident occurred, you will similarly be required to pursue compensation from the driver responsible for causing your injuries. This means that it is critical to obtain the contact information of the driver who caused your accident.

If it is not possible to file an insurance claim or if you encounter difficulties in pursuing an insurance claim, it often becomes necessary to pursue a lawsuit. To be successful in pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, you will be required to establish that the driver responsible for the accident was negligent.

Establishing negligence requires a person to show that the responsible driver had a duty, failed to meet this duty, that your damages would not have occurred but for this act and that you experienced actual damages as a result of the accident.

How to Avoid Backing-Up Accidents

There are some safety measures that drivers can follow to reduce the risk of ending up in an accident while backing up. These tips include:

  • Walk around the vehicle as well as look underneath it before stepping into the vehicle.
  • Know where your vehicle’s blind spots are located.
  • Understand vehicle clearances and remain aware of obstructions.
  • Following a walk-around inspection of the vehicle, move the vehicle right away because delaying creates the risk that another hazard might arise.
  • Use your vehicle’s rear-view mirrors frequently.
  • Back up slowly to allow anyone nearby to move safely away.
  • Look and listen for any potential hazards while backing up.

Contact a Knowledgeable Ohio Car Accident Lawyer

While they might sound tame, backing-up accidents can leave victims facing serious damages. Following a backing accident, it can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your case to contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Kruger & Hodges for assistance.

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