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Rearview camera requirement for cars coming in 2018

Did you know that, on average, roughly 15,000 people are injured and 210 people die because a light vehicle caused a “backup” accident? Those figures come from federal statistics, and they show just how critical the “backup” accident issue has become. Most of these injured and deceased people are kids or the elderly. In fact, 31 percent of the fatalities are children under the age of 5.

This is a massive problem, and in our technologically advanced world, it seems like such an unnecessary problem. We have cameras and dashboard screens — why not place a camera in the back of the vehicle so that the driver can have a clearer view of what’s happening behind him or her?

Rearview cameras have been popping up in vehicles for some time, but a major push to make the cameras a required part of motor vehicles hasn’t succeeded. That is, until recently. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) passed a rule that will require all newly-manufactured vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or less to have rearview cameras. The rule does not take effect until May 1, 2018.

Motorcycles are exempt from the rule, but that’s not the vehicle that people are worried about. Traditional cars, trucks and SUVs may have open views that give the driver a sense of what’s going on in the rear, but the driver still can’t see the whole picture. A small child could easily be obscured underneath the rearview window — and without a camera, the driver would have no way of stopping in time.

The hope is that this rule will reduce the number of backup accidents and save many lives every year.

Source: Star Tribune, “NHTSA issues final ruling that requires rearview technology in new vehicles by 2018,” Stacy A. Anderson, Associated Press, March 31, 2013

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