Every other day a youngster under the age of four is killed in a non-traffic accident that involves an automobile. Whether a parent backs out of the driveway and runs over their toddler or a child’s head is caught in an electric auto window, Consumer Reports says that under the Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act (s.1948), lawmakers were supposed to set deadlines which would require automakers to fix the blind spots behind SUVs with backup cameras and require an auto-reverse function on power car windows.
Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has done an about face. Consumer Reports notes that in a notice issued on Monday, February 28, the NHTSA dropped the proposed new rulemaking, saying that it would largely prevent finger pinch injuries and would likely not prevent any deaths or serious injuries. The agency points out that many newer high-price vehicles already have an auto-reverse window feature.
According to Janette Fennell of the safety group Kids and Cars, about 80 percent of autos sold in Europe have the auto-reverse technology for all car windows and her group would like the technology imported to the U.S.
Under the 2007 Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act (s. 1948), the NHTSA had agreed to seek deadlines to required backup cameras on new vehicles to show little people and animals behind a car in the blind spot. The NHTSA is also seeking a delay in requiring those rules be implemented.
According to the Act, since 1999 at least 1,000 kids have died in vehicles in non-traffic related accidents. The government does not collect data about such tragedies but the NHTSA estimated in a 2007 study that about 2,000 emergency room visits were caused by power windows.
Consumer Reports found that the blind zone behind a vehicle can stretch up to 50 feet, hiding the presence of a child.
Fennell says her group will continue to work on an appropriate rule that requires the power window fix.
Consumers can still find a newer vehicle with the auto-reverse safety feature on the Department of Transportation’s website at http://www.safercar.gov.
If your or a loved one have been injured by a poorly designed vehicle or defective product, the Florida personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah will offer you a free consultation on your case so that you may seek compensation from the at-fault party to cover medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.