Backup accidents (also called back over accidents) occur when a commercial truck hits a person, or hits another vehicle or stationary object, while the truck is in reverse. Large commercial trucks have huge blind spots, which makes the task of backing up dangerous, unless the driver has the assistance of a spotter or a rear-view backup camera.
Fleet Owner Magazine reports that backing up is the most common cause of collision and damage to trucks. It also discusses the difficulty of maneuvering that long trailer while you are moving backward. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that children under age 5 and adults over age 70 have an elevated risk of being back over victims compared to the rest of the population. In fact, 96% of backing fatalities involve children under age five. Back over accidents occur most on public roadways and nonresidential parking lots.
Back over-related occupational injuries
Many backup accidents involving large trucks occur in a workplace setting. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) had proposed a re-rule-stage regulatory action, “Preventing Back over Injuries and Fatalities Standard,” but it was scuttled along with about 469 other proposed regulations by the Trump administration, according to Safety and Health magazine. While there are no requirements for commercial trucks to have backup alarms, if a vehicle already has a backup alarm installed, it cannot be removed according to the OSHA Powered Industrial Trucks Standard (1910.178).
Injuries from truck back over accidents
Unfortunately, the injuries from getting hit by a truck that is backing up are often fatal, given the enormous size and weight of the vehicle. If a person did not get caught under the tires, he or she could still sustain injuries such as:
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Amputation/limb loss
Technology that can prevent back over accidents
Backup cameras have been available since the 1990s, but their price at the time is what prohibited widespread adoption of the technology. The NHTSA is requiring new passenger vehicles of less than 10,000lbs. to be equipped with rearview cameras. Proximity detectors is a helpful technology to pair up with the backup cameras so that the driver can be aware that there is something behind the truck.
There is another safety technology called autonomous emergency braking (AEB), which works in the same way that forward collision warning and automatic braking works. The sensor activates when the truck is backing up, it detects an object in the truck’s path and automatically applies the brakes. These systems use infrared, microwave or ultrasonic sensors.
If you have sustained an injury or lost a loved one in a truck backing accident, the Los Angeles truck accident attorneys at Taylor & Ring want to help you pursue the compensation you need.
Our Los Angeles truck accident attorneys are here to help you fight for full financial recovery after an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. You can schedule a free case review, when you call our law office today at 310.776.6390 or fill out our contact form.