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Backup cameras can't completely prevent backover accidents

Backup cameras (also referred to as rear visibility technology) have become increasingly common throughout the last decade. As of last year, they've been required on all new vehicles that weigh under 10,000 pounds. People with cars that don't have backup cameras can have them installed, typically on the license plate holder or the rear bumper.

This technology is nothing less than life-saving -- primarily because they help prevent backover accidents. Young children have been the most frequent victims of these accidents. However, elderly people who may not see or hear a car backing up near them are also at high risk. Many pets and other animals have also suffered serious or fatal injuries when backed over.

Unfortunately, the problem with this and other new automotive technology is that many of us begin to rely solely on that technology. We no longer look over our shoulder and in our mirrors like we were taught in driver's ed. That's how tragic backover and other catastrophic accidents can happen, even when a driver looks closely at the view from their camera while backing up.

Parents still need to warn their children about not playing around or behind parked cars. Everyone needs to be cautious when walking in parking lots where cars are backing out. Don't assume the driver has a backup camera or a system that alerts them when someone or something is behind or near them.

Even if you have a backup camera, you should always look around your car before you get in to make sure no children or animals are nearby -- particularly in residential areas and school zones, but any time.

When you're backing out of a parking space or driveway, it's best to roll your windows down and leave your radio or music off until you've safely backed out. This will help you hear everything around you.

Make sure the view from your backup camera isn't marred by snow, dirt or scratches. If you have to dig yourself out from a snowdrift in the winter, make sure the lens is clear.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious or fatal injury caused by a driver who backed into them, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine what your best options are for seeking justice and compensation.

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