U.S. To Require Backup Cameras in New Cars Starting in 2018
In an effort to reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by backup accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued a new rule that will require built-in rearview technology in all new cars manufactured in the United States. The measure is expected to save up to 15 lives per year and prevent as many as 1,125 injuries, according to NHTSA estimates.
Every year, backup accidents in the U.S. result in about 15,000 injuries and 210 deaths, according to government statistics. Although accidents of this type can affect people of all ages, young children and the elderly are particularly at risk of being hurt or killed in this way. Nearly one-third of backup fatalities in the U.S. involve children under the age of five, while slightly more than one-fourth involve adults age 70 or older.
The rearview camera requirement is scheduled to go into effect in 2018 and will apply to most new vehicles under 10,000 pounds. This includes all cars and many lighter trucks, but not motorcycles or trailers, which are excepted from the rule.
CAMERAS CAN HELP KEEP FLORIDA’S ELDERLY PEDESTRIANS SAFE
In Florida, a state known for its elderly population, the rearview camera law could go a long way toward keeping older individuals safe from vehicles that are backing up – as well as keeping others safe from senior drivers who may otherwise have difficulty seeing well when driving in reverse.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were a total of 8,258 pedestrian accidents in Florida in 2012, resulting in 473 deaths and 7,413 injuries – and a disproportionate number of those hurt and killed were elderly. Nationwide, according to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics, pedestrians age 70 and older are killed in vehicle crashes about 70 percent more often than members of other age groups.
CAMERAS BENEFIT OLDER DRIVERS, TOO
Seniors can also benefit from backup cameras when they are the ones doing the driving. About 20 percent of all Florida drivers are age 65 or older, and that number is expected to increase to about 25 percent over the next several years.
Although a recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that today’s older drivers are generally safer on the road than previous generations, there are still certain challenges that drivers tend to face as they age, such as diminished eyesight and loss of flexibility. To some extent, backup cameras can help to alleviate these issues, keeping older drivers and those around them safer from the risk of backup accidents.
HURT IN AN ACCIDENT? TALK TO A LAWYER
If you or a member of your family has been hurt in a Florida backup accident, be sure to consult with a personal injury lawyer about the possibility of seeking monetary compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other damages connected to the injury.