You think it would be set in stone already. It’s not. Risks for backover car accidents in Boca Raton and elsewhere are still high as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) delayed a ruling once again. Already long overdue, the NHTSA decided that there needed to be more research and data analysis before requiring automakers to install rear-view cameras on new cars and trucks.
“I believe it is important to allot additional time to ensure that the final rule is appropriate and the underlying analysis is robust,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Our Boca Raton car accident attorneys remember when the NHTSA proposed these rules more than a year ago. The Administration wanted stricter rear visibility standards for new vehicles. Under this standard, rear-view cameras were the safest way to go. Under the regulations, these cameras were going to be phased in until all vehicles were covered by the 2014 model year, according to Boca News Now.
According to Newser, the initial standard was passed by Congress in 2008. It was the result of a number of accidents in which children were backed over. The Act, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, was named after a 2-year-old was run over by his father’s vehicle in his very own driveway. The issue at hand with this Act is the rather large blind spots that SUVs and pickup trucks have. These blind spots are getting bigger and bigger with passenger cars, too. As consumers demand more fuel efficient vehicles, cars are getting more aerodynamic. With aerodynamics come larger blind spots and bigger risks for injury and backover accidents.
According to federal statistics, there are just about 300 people who are killed because of backover accident in the U.S. every year. In addition to these fatalities, these types of accidents cause another 20,000 injuries. Most of these accidents happen in parking lots and in driveways. Almost all of these fatalities occur to children who are under the age of 5. The second largest group of victims in these accidents is elderly residents.
Members of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said that cameras just might be too expensive. They suggested expanding the width of side-view mirrors to help minimize blind spots instead.
The costs of cameras appear to be nearly $3 billion whereas mirrors would only cost the industry about $1 billion.
“There are a variety of tools that could be used,” said Gloria Bergquist, with the Alliance.
Clarence Ditlow, with the Center for Auto Safety, says that mirrors or any other idea other than the camera is a bad idea. He says safety should be for everyone, not just some people. He adds that he understands a mirror would be cheaper, but a mirror won’t get the job done and won’t help to save lives like a camera would.
Right now, nearly half of all new-model vehicles come with rear-view cameras. Another 25 percent have it as an additional option. That’s not good enough for safe-driving advocates. All cars need this technology and all pedestrians and cyclists, young and old, need to be protected.