What Can I Do?(BACKOVER BLADE CONTACT ACCIDENTS ARE NOT YOUR FAULT!)
You can do several things to help prevent these terrible accidents and catastrophic injuries to children. Please consider the following:
- If you have been affected personally by a riding lawnmower back over accident or know of someone who has, send the information to this website by Contacting Us.
- In certain instances where an individual has received permanent injuries as a result of a riding lawnmower accident, the victim and their family may be entitled to make a claim against the lawnmower manufacturer to provide for the child’s past and future medical needs, loss of wage earning capacity as well as to recover compensation for non-economic damages such as physical pain and suffering, physical impairment, physical disfigurement and mental anguish. By Contacting Us, we can assist you or help you find legal representation.
- You can contact the lawnmower manufacturers (see Lawnmowers Manufacturers) and their industry association (visit our Info Links) and request action on their part to resolve this problem. A sample manufacturer letter and industry association letter is available for your use.
- You can encourage your elected officials and government agencies to legislate solutions to this problem. A sample elected official letter and government agency letter is available for your use.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has failed to create mandatory safety standards for riding lawnmowers. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), a manufacturers organization comprised of representatives of riding lawnmower manufacturers, only creates voluntary safety standards for riding lawnmowers.
The certified safety professionals and engineering experts, which we involve in backover blade contact accidents, have advocated more stringent safety standards to reduce the risk of these accidents and the catastrophic injuries to children. Some of the proposals include:
- Eliminating the manufacturer’s option to install a “session override” which allows the operator to defeat the “No Mow In Reverse” safety feature for an entire mowing session.
- Reducing the maximum allowable reverse speed to 1 mph or 1 1/2 feet per second.
- To reduce blade spin-down time from 5 seconds to 3 seconds.
- To provide graphic child specific warnings to increase the operator's awareness of the risk of reverse operation.
- To provide graphic action specific warnings to increase the operator's awareness of the child backover safety hazard.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations which are contained in the operator’s manual. Unfortunately, even if the manufacturer’s safety recommendations are followed, there will be instances when a blade contact accident will occur due to design defects in the riding lawnmower.