The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently announced a rule that will require car manufacturers to install car backing technology in 2018. Many automakers are planning on installing rear-view cameras to adhere to the new NHTSA regulation. The new rule satisfies a condition set by Congress in 2008. Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, which required that automakers improve visibility in the rearview field for all vehicles manufactured in the U.S.
The recent rule aims to decrease the number of accidents caused by a driver’s restricted view. The camera technology will assist drivers in detecting the presence of other vehicles. The NHTSA rule will require that cameras detect a 10-foot by 20-foot area behind the vehicle. The rule also details the specific requirements for the technology, such as response time and image size.
NHTSA administered the final rule on March 31, 2014. The rule was met with many challenges and controversy prior to its passage. Ultimately, the NHTSA succeeded in implementing the rule and believes that it will reduce the number of fatalities caused by accidents resulting from blind spots.
Consumers Union Wants Faster Implementation of the New Standard
The Consumers Union was one of the leading organizations behind the advocacy of the rear-view camera installation rule. The organization was also instrumental in working with NHTSA to implement a national standard aimed at improving rear visibility in 2011.
Consumers Union works with family members who have lost loved ones in backover accidents. Children placed in car seats are often severely injured or die as a result of backover accidents. KIDS AND CARS is another non-profit organization that has been dedicated to the passage of legislation requiring the installation of rear-view cameras.
Currently, Consumers Union is urging that car manufacturers begin to adhere to the standards before 2018. They assert that these safety devices are in great demand in the auto industry. Americans are increasingly making vehicle purchasing decisions based on whether a car has a rear-view camera. The installation of the rear-view technology will likely result in a decreased number of blind spot accidents every year. Already, about 73 percent of all vehicles are anticipated to feature rear-view cameras by 2018. Car manufacturers have been installing the devices to decrease their likelihood of liability in the event of auto accidents.
To implement the new rule for the remaining 27 percent of vehicles, the NHTSA estimates that carmakers will need to spend $620 million to install rear-view technology in vehicles. The cost per vehicle is projected to be $45 to $142.
Instead of challenging the rule, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has petitioned the NHTSA to allow for the installation of other types of rear-view cameras. The Detroit Three is part of the Alliance, and it has requested that carmakers be able to replace side-view mirrors with cameras. The side-view cameras will also assist drivers in checking blind spots and avoiding accidents. Carmakers are aggressively pursuing ways to make vehicles safer for drivers and passengers on the road.
Statistics for Auto Accidents Caused by Blind Spots
Every year, over 200 people are killed as a result of a driver’s failure to see behind a vehicle. Backover accidents also account for over 15,000 injuries every year. The majority of people killed in these accidents are children between the ages of 5 and 7. Elderly people also make up a significant portion of the individuals injured in backover accidents.
Once the regulations are fully implemented, the NHTSA anticipates that an additional 58 to 69 lives will be saved every year. Rear-view technology will have a tremendous effect in eliminating blind spot accidents.
Steps Drivers Can Take to Avoid Blind Spot Accidents
Until the new law is implemented, drivers should take active steps to avoid blind spot accidents. New drivers should be taught how to check blind spots and look over their shoulder. Elderly drivers may require refresher driving courses on checking blind spots.
Drivers can also avoid blind spot accidents by avoiding distracting behaviors. Texting while driving can be an extremely dangerous activity while one is driving on the road. Texting and talking on smartphones should be avoided at all costs while a driver is operating a vehicle.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a blind spot accident, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC may be able to assist you. Our injury attorneys have compassion for the struggles that you face and will try to help you find resolution during this difficult time. Feel free to call one of our lawyers to discuss your case at anytime.