cars and trucks can see behind them
when backing up.
(Photos © J. Maus)
The US Department of Transportation wants to create a new safety regulation to help eliminate blind spots behind motor vehicles. The DOT says the proposal is aimed at preventing fatalities and injuries to people victimized by “low-speed back-up accidents” and it could also have an impact on people riding bicycles as well.
The proposal, issued today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “would expand the required field of view for all passenger cars, pickup trucks, minivans, buses and low-speed vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 10,000 pounds so that drivers can see directly behind the vehicle when the vehicle’s transmission is in reverse.”
I was not aware of how many kids are killed each year by people in cars accidently backing up over them in driveways. US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood shared on his blog today that two kids lose their lives every week from “back-overs”. (Check this article: Hidden danger in Suburbia: Driveway backovers.)
NHTSA estimates that an average of 292 fatalities and 18,000 injuries occur each year as a result of back-overs.
“The changes we are proposing today will help drivers see into those blind zones directly behind vehicles to make sure it is safe to back up,” says LaHood.
To meet the requirements of the proposed rule, ten percent of new vehicles must comply by Sept. 2012, 40 percent by Sept. 2013 and 100 percent by Sept. 2014. NHTSA hopes automakers will install rear-mounted video cameras and in-vehicle displays to meet the proposed standards.
There’s a 60-day comment period that is now open. Learn more and submit a comment at NHTSA.gov.