Many children and adults are injured every year after being hit by vehicles backing up. Unfortunately, many victims of these accidents are young children being hit by a car backing up in their parent’s driveway.
The Transportation Department has tried to address this safety issue for several years. Now, they are finally adding rearview cameras as a part of their safety measure recommendations. While adding rearview cameras to their recommendations is a significant step at improving safety, it comes to late for many families who have had a family member injured or killed in a backover accident.
Backover accidents are all too common in the United States. The Transportation Department reports that 292 people are killed and 18,000 people are injured every year in backover accidents. Even worse, 44 percent of victims are under the age of 5.
Backover accidents could be reduced and prevented by installing rearview cameras in new vehicles. Unfortunately, despite a law passed in 2008 to address this safety issue, the Transportation Department has failed to issue a final rule that would help reduce backover accidents in the U.S.
The department’s delay in issuing a final rule on rearview cameras has led to safety groups and individuals filing a lawsuit against the Transportation Department. The lawsuit is asking for the court to order the agency to issue a final ruling on rearview cameras within 90 days.
The lawsuit was filed after the Transportation Department continued to delay a final ruling on rearview cameras. The 2008 law required the agency to set new safety standards that included a requirement for drivers to see behind their vehicles. The law gave the agency three years to issue a final ruling, which the agency has failed to comply with.
The plaintiffs and other safety groups are hoping that the lawsuit will force the Transportation Department to issue a final rule on rearview cameras and other sensors that will help prevent backover deaths in the future. Until then, drivers should be aware of the new technology available when purchasing a new vehicle and choose an automobile that has a rearview camera to prevent these tragic accidents.
Source: New York Times, “After Delays, U.S. Takes a Step Forward on Rearview Cameras in Vehicles,” Jacyln Trop, Sept. 25, 2013