DOT Proposed More Rear View Visibility to Protect Kids in Back-Up Accidents

It’s something we write about all the time. Kids playing in a driveway or running up to an SUV to say goodbye to a parent, only to be run over by the driver who just couldn’t see the child behind the large SUV. It has happened far too often, with 292 fatalities and 18,000 injuries occurring every year from back-up accidents, that the government is requiring auto manufacturers to increase the visibility behind large vehicles. The proposal by the Department of Transportation (DOT) will expand the field of view behind SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks, by requiring a rear-mounted video camera with an in-vehicle display on all new vehicles by September 2014. The proposed rule was part of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007, named for a two-year-old who was killed by his father behind the wheel of an SUV in the family driveway.

Kids and Car Back-up Accident Statistics
The consumer advocacy group www.kidsandcars.org has supported and managed the aforementioned proposal for rear visibility so that vehicles meet a standard that allows a driver to see what is in the blind zone. The group says at least 50 children are backed over by vehicles in the U.S. every week. At least 70% of the backup incidents involve children.

“Expanding the field of vision for all passenger cars, pickup trucks, and minivans is necessary so drivers can see directly behind the vehicle when backing,” said Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org. “The quality of rearview camera technology has advanced to the point where you can see if there are leaves on the ground when backing. We have the technology to prevent these deaths; and now we are going to use it” she added.

The Jacksonville injury lawyers at Farah & Farah remind parents that no technology can make up for being mindful of the possibility that a small child, an animal, or an elderly person may be around the rear of your vehicle as you back out of a driveway. It is the person who is in a hurry and distracted who is most likely to be surprised by what they can encounter when they are not paying attention.

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