New Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Require All Vehicles To Be Equipped With Backup Cameras As Of May 1, 2018
Many car accidents and resulting injuries can be prevented with the proper precautions. Last month, the U. S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule in the hopes of improving the lives of thousands and preventing countless deaths from back-over crashes. As of May 1, 2018, all vehicles under 10,000 pounds must be equipped with backup cameras.
What Are Back-Over Crashes?
Back-over crashes are defined as crashes in which pedestrians or cyclists are struck by vehicles moving in reverse. The NHTSA estimates that an average of 267 people are killed and 15,000 people are injured due to back-over crashes in a year. Of those 15,000 injuries, a full 6,000 are incapacitated. Perhaps the most tragic numbers are the following: Kids under 5 account for 31 percent of the fatalities; senior citizens over 70 account for 26 percent.
How Can We Prevent Serious Back-Over Car Accidents?
To eliminate these accidents, all vehicles under 10,000 pounds (including buses and trucks) that are manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, must be equipped with rear video visibility technology, also known as backup cameras or rearview cameras. Other requirements include increasing the field of view to include a 10- by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle, as well as specific image size, linger time, response time, durability and deactivation.
The trend in rear visibility technology is growing; the agency’s analysis shows that 73 percent of vehicles under 10,000 pounds will be sold with rearview video systems by 2018. Vehicle backup cameras are cost-effective, save lives and could reduce property damage. The more vehicles that have the technology, the better.
Tips For Pedestrians
Of course, any success requires undivided attention from drivers and pedestrians. While we wait for the latest vehicles to carry backup cameras, there are many steps we can take to teach our children (and to keep in mind ourselves!). Here’s a quick list of prevention tips and safe behaviors. Please feel free to share with your children and friends.
- Always supervise children around vehicles.
- Teach kids to not play in or around cars.
- Teach kids to move away from a vehicle when a driver gets in or the car starts.
- Look behind you and reverse slowly out of parking spaces or driveways; kids can be quick and may dash behind your car.
- Roll down your windows and keep your music off while backing up; it will be easier to hear what’s happening.
- Check your mirrors as you back up.
- Walk around your car and ascertain that no one is playing behind it or in the crosswalks before you back up.
- Teach your kids to keep bikes and other toys out of driveways.
- Always be aware of small kids; the smaller the child, the harder it is to see him or her.