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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) introduced new rules in March to decrease backover injury rates by increasing visibility.
Backing accidents needlessly take lives each year. According to NHTSA, backover accidents cause approximately 15,000 injuries each year and more than 200 deaths.
Tragedies and Injuries Related to Backovers
In January of this year, a father backing his pick-up truck out of his driveway in Willis, Texas accidentally drove over his two-year-old toddler. The child was later pronounced dead at Conroe Regional Medical Center.
Backing accidents usually occur when a person is too small to be seen, or too slow to avoid being hit by a backing car or truck. The primary victims of backing accidents are children under five years of ages and seniors over age 70.
In March, NHTSA introduced new rules for manufacturers of vehicles over 10,000 pounds. The agency hopes to save lives by improving the ability of a driver to detect people and objects in their backward path. Vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2018 must provide the following:
- An unobstructed view 10 feet by 30 feet directly behind the driver
- A direct view not provided solely via sensor
Notes U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, “As a father, I can only imagine how heart-wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today’s rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents.”
When fully implemented, the agency hopes upwards of 60 lives per year are saved by the improved technology.