Tragic Back-Over Death Evidence of Hidden Problem: Kids and Cars Canada

by John McKiggan

Police in Toronto are investigating a heartbreaking death as a result of a back-over accident that happened on the weekend.

A father dropped off his wife and eight-year old son outside Toronto’s Ontario Science Centre. While backing-up to leave the parking lot the father struck his wife and son. Tragically, the eight-year old boy died of his injuries. Media reports indicate the child’s mother is in serious but stable condition in the hospital.

This terrible accident is evidence of a hidden problem. One that most Canadians aren’t even aware exists.

Blind Zones

Did you know that even when you are using your rear-view mirrors properly every automobile has a blind zone behind it? Depending on the make and model of the vehicle, the blind zone is anywhere from 10 feet (if you are driving a typical family Sedan) to upwards of 30 feet (if you are driving a pick-up truck)!

Hundreds of Children Injured Every Year

Statistics collected by the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program show that hundreds of children are injured every year in back-over collisions. A recent study identified thousands of children that had been injured over a ten year period. The authors found that hundreds of children are admitted to hospitals in Canada every year as a result of pedestrian – vehicle collisions.

Tip of the Iceberg

Unfortunately the statistics underestimate the problem because it doesn’t track fatalities, accidents where children were injured but did not go to the hospital, injuries treated at doctors offices or walk-in clinics, or injuries where children attended at an Emergency Room and were treated and discharged (placing a cast of a broken arm etc) without having to be admitted.

Back Overs Cause Serious Injuries

The authors concluded that although back-over collisions represent a relatively small proportion of total pedestrian motor vehicle collisions, they tend to involve more severe injuries than other car-pedestrian accidents. is a non-profit charity founded in the United States by Janette Fennell. The organization lobbies governments regarding the safety issues surrounding children and cars.

As a result of the efforts of the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that in 2014 it will make rear view cameras mandatory in all new vehicles sold in the United States.

Canadians Not Aware of the Dangers

In my work as a car-accident lawyer here in Canada I have seen first-hand the tragic results of child pedestrian back-over injuries. But most Canadians are not aware the problem even exists.

That is why I have agreed to join Janette Fennell in her fight to raise public awareness of this important issue. I volunteer as the Canadian Chair of to raise awareness about these issues.

Want More Information?

For more information you can check out the resource page I have created on my website – Canada or at our home page at

Want to Help?

If you would like to volunteer with Kids and Cars Canada you can contact us or email us at

What do you think?

What do you think? What can be done to increase the safety of child pedestrians? Should back-up cameras be mandatory in all vehicles sold in Canada? Let me know.

Stay safe.


Global News reported on the story and they did a good job explaining the blind zone problem. Be patient, there’s a short ad before the news story begins.

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