Rear-View Cameras Proposed to Prevent Back-Over Accidents
Four people are killed in the U.S. every week by vehicles backing over them, according to USAToday.com. In many cases, the victim is a child or elderly pedestrian. NHTSA.com reports that 292 people are killed and 18,000 are injured in back-over car accidents every year. Children under five account for about 44 percent of back-over fatalities and people 70 and older represent another 33 percent. More than two-thirds of those fatalities involve cars and light trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or less. To combat this age-old problem, Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act in 2008 to study ways to improve rear-view visibility. The act was named for a two-year-old boy from New York who died after his father backed over him. After four years of investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concluded that cameras are the best safety option.
Despite Cost, Cameras Chosen as Best Option to Improve Visibility and Safety
Critics contend that mandating rear-view cameras would make new cars more expensive – $58 for vehicles with advanced displays and up to $203 for those without – an obstacle that is now hindering change. How? The NHTSA initially proposed new regulations mandating rear-view cameras in new cars and light trucks beginning September 2014. However, as the February 2012 deadline approached, the agency postponed the changes for the third time. Following the postponement, an NHTSA statement said: “While the department has made progress toward a final rule to improve rearward visibility, it has decided that further study and data analysis – including of a wider range of vehicles and drivers – is important to ensure the most protective and efficient rule possible. The Department remains committed to improving rearview visibility for the nation’s fleet and we expect to complete our work and issue a final rule by December 31, 2012.” If you or a loved one was injured in a back-over accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case and determine your options.