Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced new upcoming safety-related standards last week that insurance experts and auto analysts believe will have a strongly salutary effect on the number of car accidents involving fatalities and other serious injuries caused by motorists driving in reverse.
"There is no more tragic accident than for a parent or caregiver to back out of a garage or driveway and kill or injure an undetected child playing behind the vehicle," noted LaHood, in announcing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's newly proposed rule. That rule, which is scheduled to take effect after a two-month public comment period, would make it mandatory for auto manufacturers to install rear-view cameras on virtually all cars and most models of trucks that roll off assembly lines in 2014.
Some models already have these video capabilities, but mass production of the units is expected to drive costs down to a more affordable level. Ten percent of all new models must meet requirements by September 2012, 30 percent within a year after that, and 100 percent by September 2014.
Drivers moving in reverse kill an estimated 300 people each year, with many of those killed being young children. An additional 18,000 people suffer a wide range of personal injuries by being struck. The government estimates that the cameras could bring about substantial decreases in those numbers, with as many as 100 lives being saved each year.
Related Resource: www.starnewsonline.com "Proposal would require all vehicles have rear-view cameras" December 4, 2010