Thousands of children are hurt or killed each year by unwary drivers backing over an unseen child.  In Florida and throughout the United States, 50 children are backed over by a vehicle each week.  A majority of the time, SUV's, van or trucks are involved.  Children are easily hidden from view by these large vehicles.  Unfortunately, in more than 70% of the cases, a parent or relative is behind the wheel.  The most common age range for children involved in backover incidents is between 12 and 23 months.  It is during this age range that toddlers begin independent mobility and will follow an unknowing parent or relative out of a house and into the driveway.  Backover incidents occur most frequently in residential driveways, but can occur anywhere, including the parking lots of grocery stores or retail stores.

Diligence by drivers can often avoid the tragic results of a backover accident.  Since children in the at-risk age have very little understanding of personal safety, it is up to the adults to take precautions in order to minimize the risk of inadvertently backing over a child.  Here are some helpful safety tips to keep children safe in driveways:

-Know where your kids are.  Make children move away from the car until they are in full, unobstructed view.
-Prior to moving the car, walk around and behind the vehicle
-Steep driveways add to the difficulty of seeing behind a vehicle
-Keep toys off of the driveway.
-Keep your vehicle locked at all times and always set your parking brake.
-Keys and/or remote openers should be kept out of children's reach
-When traveling with children, make sure all children have left the car when exiting
-During busy times like holidays, leaving for vacation, getting kids to school, be careful with children in and around cars.
-NEVER leave children alone in and around cars!
-Consider installing special equipment such as audible collision detectors, back up cameras or cross view mirrors.

These are just a few suggestions to help reduce the risk of injuring children in a backover accident.  Never assume that a child knows to stay away from a vehicle.  Keeping a watchful eye at all times could help avoid a tragic accident involving a child.