Be aware of your blindzones
Almost two weeks ago at the Grand Traverse County Fair (RE), 7-year-old Ezekiel “Zeke” Goodwin was backed-over by a Kingsley resident who, according to the report, before pulling out of his parking spot had stopped, looked to his rear, and not seen the boy who was riding his bicycle on the access road. Thinking it was clear, the driver backed out his truck and then struck “Zeke”. The boy was rushed to two hospitals and couldn’t be saved.
It is a sad and tragic story for the Zeke’s family and friends, the family of the driver, the fair, and the community. The deepest condolences go out to all of them. These incidents are senseless and need not happen. That said, they are predictable. When there is inattention to design of places like fairgrounds, parking lots and driveways, fatal incidents are going to happen. This is compounded in events that attract people with large vehicles–like a county fair, that also predictably have children out and about. I was heartened to see that the families immediately began discussing with fair organizers how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
One thing they can do, is help educate drivers about their blindzones, particularly in large vehicles.
According to the statistics from www.kidsandcars.org, nationally there has been a dramatic increase in fatal back-overs and front-overs in the last decade that is, in part, highlighted by the fact that “over 60% of backing up incidents involved a larger size vehicle” like a large pick-up truck, van, or SUV. It’s the same decade where use of SUVs for daily, routine driving rose in popularity.
Be aware. Know your limitations and weaknesses.
Have a safe weekend.