Technology, and Tips to Prevent Deadly Back Up Driving Tragedies
Lynchburg, VA - So many ABC 13 viewers were shocked and saddened by the horrific news out of Campbell County; a 20 month old girl, dead, killed by a driver that backed up into her.
We looked into how these tragedies can be prevented.
A driving expert says lack of attention is the number one cause. There are basic steps every driver needs to take before they put that gear into reverse. But there's another tool, sophisticated technology becoming mainstream, in an attempt to end these tragedies.
"From what I heard, the child was laid out back on the ground behind the vehicle" said a neighbor of the 20 month old Campbell County girl that was killed by a driver backing out of a parking space.
Neighbors who saw little Jessica Choi's body laying lifeless in a Campbell County parking lot, won't soon forget it.
"She was really beautiful with a sweet smile" said neighbor, Joy Lee.
"I'm really surprised that we haven't had more problems with people backing into other people" said Ken Frederick, a Lynchburg driving instructor.
"Ideally, you want to walk around the car" said Frederick. He says first, make sure to check the car's surroundings. Make sure nothing, and no one is close by.
"Put it in reverse, I tell my students to do a five count. Look over your left shoulder. Number two is checking this mirror right here" he said.
Three, check your rear-view mirror, four, your right side mirror, and five, "Shifting my hips to the left and looking out that back window" he said.
And that is something Frederick says drivers don't do enough.
But rear view cameras, he says are helping drivers see spots they wouldn't normally.
"I think there's going to be an increase in the number of cars that are going to offer this feature" said Frederick.
"Next year for the 2014 models it will be available in every Ford lineup" said Mark Smith, the Sales Manager of Lynchburg's Apple Ford.
At Apple Ford, rear view cameras are a hot commodity, that's only getting hotter. Federal laws are under consideration to make the cameras a requirement, and as a result, lower their cost to consumers.
"To add the cameras in the future, it may add $160-$200 to the price of the vehicle" said Smith; a small price to pay to save a life.
Right now, back up cameras are offered as an add-on in a majority of vehicles.