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Backover car accidents in Massachusetts a danger to pedestrians, children

A Hanson, Massachusetts pedestrian accident sent a 55-year-old woman to the hospital over the weekend, the Patriot Ledger reported.

The woman was struck by a small SUV while walking across the entrance to a driveway shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday. She was flown by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition.

The accident happened as the SUV was backing out of a driveway.

Our Boston injury lawyers have reported on the high number of serious and fatal pedestrian accidents that occur in the Boston area. Massachusetts pedestrian accidents account for one in seven traffic fatalities — 61 of 429 in a recent year. More than motorcycle and bicycle fatalities combined and second only to motor-vehicle fatalities.

Nationwide, 4,378 pedestrians were killed in accidents in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and another 69,000 were injured. Somewhere in the nation a pedestrian is killed in an accident every two hours and a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes.

Back-over injuries, such as the injuries sustained in this case, frequently involve young children. The Consumer Union has documented 436 backover accidents in the last decade, primarily involving children under the age of 4.

These accidents occurred outside a child’s home or in a residential driveway and involved 270 fatalities. More than 60 percent of backover accidents involve large vans or SUVs.

Tips for avoiding backover accidents in Massachusetts:

-Walk around a vehicle before moving it.

-Know where kids are and keep them in full view.

-Teach children about the dangers of parked vehicles; never permit them to play around a vehicle.

-Measure the size of the blindspot behind the vehicles you drive. A 5 foot 1 inch driver in a pickup truck can have a rear blind spot of 50 feet.

-Keep in mind that steep inclines and large SUVs, trucks or vans can increase the difficulty of seeing behind a vehicle.

If you have been injured in a Massachusetts car accident, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.