This past weekend a family in Toronto went on a family trip to the Ontario Science Centre museum. The father dropped off his wife and eight-year old son in the parking lot. But while backing-up to leave, the father struck his wife and son. Tragically, the eight-year old boy died of his injuries. Media reports indicate that the child’s mother is in serious but stable condition in the hospital.
This terrible accident is evidence of a hidden problem. One that most Canadians aren’t even aware exists.
Most of us know that there is blind spot beside our cars that hides people who are passing our vehicle.
But did you know that even when you are using your rear-view mirrors properly, every automobile has a blind zone behind your vehicle?
Did you know that depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the blind zone is anywhere from 10 feet (if you drive a typical family sedan) to upwards of 30 feet (if you drive a pick-up truck)!
Hundreds of Children Injured Every Year
Statistics collected by the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program show that hundreds of children are injured and admitted to hospitals in Canada every year as a result of pedestrian – vehicle collisions.
Tip of the Iceberg
Unfortunately the statistics underestimate the problem because it doesn't track:
- Accidents where children were injured but did not go to the hospital;
- Injuries treated at doctor's offices or walk-in clinics; or
- Injuries where children attended at an Emergency Room and were treated and discharged (placing a cast of a broken arm etc) but did not require a hospital admission.
Back Overs Cause Serious Injuries
The authors concluded that although back-over collisions represent a relatively small proportion of the hundreds of pedestrian – motor vehicle collisions that happen every year, back-overs tend to involve more severe injuries than other car-pedestrian accidents.
KidsAndCars.org is a charity founded in the United States by Janette Fennell. The organization lobbies governments regarding the safety issues surrounding children and cars.
As a result of the efforts of KidsAndCars.org the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that in 2014 it will make back-up cameras mandatory in all new vehicles sold in the United States.
Canadians Not Aware of the Dangers
The issue hasn’t received any traction in Canada. However, in my work as a car-accident lawyer here in Canada I have seen first-hand the tragic results of child pedestrian back-over injuries. That is why I have agreed to join Janette Fennell in her fight to raise public awareness on this issue. I volunteer and Chair KidsAndCars.org/Canada to help raise awareness about these issues.
Want More Information?
For more information you can check out the resource page I have created on my website KidsandCars.org – Canada or at our home page KidsandCars.org.
Want to Help?
If you would like to volunteer with Kids and Cars Canada you can contact us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you think?
What do you think? What can be done to increase the safety of child pedestrians? Should back-over cameras be mandatory in all vehicles sold in Canada? Let me know.