Many of the unfortunate victims of traffic accidents are children. Those under the age of 15 may be involved in a car collision through no fault of their own. In addition to them being victims of a car crash, they may also suffer injury and even fatalities for non-traffic related accidents.
One scenario that results in this type of accident is when a parent is leaving for work or another appointment and they back out of the driveway. They fail to notice that their little toddler followed them outside and had toddled behind the car. It is only after they hit an obstacle that they have the horrible realization of what has just occurred.
Over half of non-traffic related fatalities occur when a child is run over by a vehicle that is backing up. Many times, the vehicle is a large truck or SUV, which makes it more difficult to see behind or in front of it.
Another situation which qualifies as a non-traffic accident is when children are left unattended in vehicles and overheat. Their parent may run into the store and leave them in a locked car or forget to take them out of the vehicle when they get home. The child is stuck inside as the temperature increases until they are no longer responsive.
A third case is when the child is able to start the vehicle in motion and it runs into an obstacle. The engine may be running, and they are able to put it in gear, allowing it to either move forward or reverse.
There have been several measures taken by manufacturers to help prevent non-traffic related fatalities. Newer models come equipped with rearview cameras and sensing systems which sound an alert when an obstacle is near the vehicle. Some models now also feature pedestrian detection and rear cross-traffic alert. These features help prevent accidents caused by a vehicle hitting a person.
Legislation has been suggested to impose stiffer penalties on parents who leave their children in hot cars. This is a growing concern as social media, and the news has been bringing increased awareness of the situation occurring. There have been studies on how effective sensing devices would be if a system caused an alert when a child is not removed from their seat after the key is removed from the ignition.
Parents can take steps to prevent these non-traffic accidents by developing a plan ahead of time. They could make sure the child is with another adult when they leave in a car or place the child in the vehicle even if they are only moving the vehicle. They may decide to place their cell phone, purse or house keys near the child’s car seat so they realize they have the child with them.
In many instances, these types of accidents are preventable. Adults must be aware of the risks in these situations and take appropriate safety measures.