I heard about a tragic accident yesterday. Today I learned that the person involved was a former colleague, we had worked at the same company some years ago.
He had apparently changed jobs recently and got a new Toyota Harrier of which he was very proud, not having owned an SUV before. A few days back, while reversing his vehicle he had run over both his wife and daughter. Both were in intensive care, the child has now died but the wife is apparently out of danger. The child was fourteen years old.
Reversing vehicles is always dangerous, there are special safety guidelines that may be applied at the workplace, but few people think of these things when at home. Running over a small child is quite possible, but how he managed to run over a fourteen year old and an adult is a mystery, probably the vehicle was high and visibility at the back, poor. Children should always be taught at an early age not to run after vehicles and more importantly, told why. We were told this when we were little but, I can' recollect that we were ever told why and I'm not sure how strictly we followed the rules.
Come to think of it, if we are just a little thoughtless, It can happen to anybody. It has almost happened to me, as an adult. I was directing a friend when he was reversing at the Galle Face hotel car park. He came back a little too fast and bumped into me. The speed was slow, about 5-10kph, but the force that it carries is surprisingly powerful and it knocked me off my feet. There is a six foot drop at the back of the car park, but luckily some bushes broke my fall and I managed to hang on to them until help arrived. It looked quite comical and many people on the green were too busy laughing to help but it could have been very dangerous.
A similar instance took place on a narrow estate road upcountry, with a steep cliff on one side. I almost reversed into the friend who was directing me. We were young and foolish and everyone was laughing about the incident afterwards, but looking back now I realise how dangerous it was.
Never stand behind a car when its reversing, even if one is directing, stand to a side and direct the driver.