A tenured 52 year old nurse sustained a neck injury when an SUV backed into her smaller, compact car last week at a local hospital. The nurse, who was injured drove a small 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit, which sustained $5600 in damage. A 54 year old passenger (a medical records keeper at the hospital) in the Rabbit also sustained a neck injury. The 31 year old SUV driver, also a nurse, was not injured.
The accident occurred just before seven in the morning at the hospital parking lot. A security guard told the driver of the SUV that the parking garage was full. He then told her to “back up.” The driver, without looking backed up into the Volkswagen Rabbit, which was stopped at the stop sign just before the entrance to the garage. “She was going at least 15 to 20 mph”, says the 52 year old nurse and mother of two, who chose not to be identified. The damage was excessive, crunching the 11 day old Volkswagen like an accordion. The mid-size Honda SUV received only a minor paint scrape. Both passengers of the Rabbit were treated at the hospital emergency room.
“SUVs were originally designed and built to be work vehicles, and most are still built using a truck chassis and have not been comprehensively re-designed to be safely used as passenger vehicles”, says the citizen.org president in a presentation of SUV safety awareness. This fact has prompted many to push for the requirement for a special license for SUV operation. “These things are trucks, and truck drivers have licenses – the same should go for the drivers of the SUVs”, says the driver of the Volkswagen. As for now, accidents involving SUVs continue to climb, according to an NHTSB (National Highway and Transportation Safety Board) study. With more SUVs on the road, the statistic will only go up.
The driver of the Volkswagen Rabbit remains on leave facing a possible herniated disk in five years time from now. No charges have been filed to the driver of the SUV, who was 100% at fault for the accident. All injury related care is being covered by the hospital through workman’s compensation.
Mary Kate Leibman