June 7, 2006

Minivans and trucks pose greatest risk of backing over children

Salt Lake City, Utah – A study released by the University of Utah shows that a child is 2.4 times more likely to be backed over by a van and 53 per cent more likely to be hit by a truck or SUV than by a car. The study also found that children hit by high-profile vehicles such as trucks, SUVs or minivans are more likely to require hospitalization, surgery, and treatment in an intensive-care unit than children backed over by cars.

Previous reports have suggested high-profile vehicles produce a large blind spot behind them, but no previous studies in the U.S. have attempted to document the rate of injury by type of vehicle.

The research also found that children in Utah are more likely to be backed over in residential driveways than children in other states; according to the study’s lead investigator N. Clay Mann, Ph.D., this may be because Utah has the highest number of persons per household and the youngest population in all 50 states, with nearly 33 per cent of residents under the age of 18, and one registered “family-type vehicle” for every ten licensed drivers.

The research shows the importance of educating parents and young children about dangers in the driveway. Rear cameras and sensors are available, Mann says, “but there is no substitute for walking behind, or at least looking behind your vehicle before getting in and putting the car in reverse.”

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