Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule requiring rear backup cameras in all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds by May 2018. This new rule is expected to reduce the risk of fatalities and serious injuries caused by backover accidents.
The rule requires all vehicles under 10,000 pounds, including buses and trucks, manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, to come equipped with rear visibility technology that expands the field of view to enable the driver of a motor vehicle to detect areas behind the vehicle to reduce death and injury resulting from backover incidents. The field of view must include a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. The system must also meet other requirements including image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation.
On average, there are 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year caused by backover crashes. NHTSA has found that children under 5 years old account for 31 percent of backover fatalities each year, and adults 70 years of age and older account for 26 percent.
Many children are killed or seriously injured in backover incidents. A backover incident typically occurs when a vehicle coming out of a driveway or parking space backs over an unattended child because the driver did not see him or her. NHTSA prevention tips:
- Teach children not to play in or around cars.
- Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles.
- Always walk around your vehicle and check the area around it before backing up.
- Be aware of small children-the smaller a child, the more likely it is you will not see them.
- Teach children to move away from a vehicle when a driver gets in it or if the car is started.
- Have children in the area stand to the side of the driveway or sidewalk so you can see them as you are backing out of a driveway or parking space.
- Make sure to look behind you while backing up slowly in case a child dashes behind your vehicle unexpectedly.
- Roll down your windows while backing out of your driveway or parking space so that you'll be able to hear what is happening outside of your vehicle.
- Teach your children to keep their toys and bikes out of the driveway.
- Because kids can move unpredictably, you should actively check your mirrors while backing up.
- Many cars are equipped with detection devices that provide rearview video or warning sounds, but they cannot completely take the place of actively walking around your car to make sure children are safely out of the way. Do not rely solely on these devices to detect what is behind your vehicle.
Visit www.safercar.gov for more advice and information.