Fixing The Blind Spots Problem

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently recommended a new rule that would require rear-view back-up cameras in all new cars, pickup trucks and SUVs by the year 2014. The rule was recommended in an effort to curb rear view collisions because nearly all vehicles have significant blind spots.  Blind spots are areas the driver cannot see either by turning around or looking in the mirrors.

The implementation of the rear-view camera rule would mean drivers would be able to see what is directly behind them.  Rear-view cameras would be particularly useful in SUVs because they tend to have large blind spots.

“Every vehicle has a blind zone immediately behind the rear bumper. It can be five feet or 50 feet, depending on the car’s styling. Lost in that space might be a fire hydrant, a pet, or even a child,” Ami Gadhia, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, said in a statement received by CNN.

The implementation of the rule has been halted.  The NHTSA says more research is needed before the final regulation can be issued.  In addition, money is always a factor.  The cost-benefit analysis will be significant.

The rule, which has been praised by people nationwide, could reduce the number of significant injuries and deaths.  The cost to implement the cameras would be $159 to $203, which at least in part,would be passed on to the consumer.

The NHTSA realizes that the most important thing is to save lives.  According to the NHTSA, back-over accidents cause an average of 229 deaths and 18,000 injuries per year.  Small children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to these types of accidents.  Small children are difficult to see behind a car, and they often do not appreciate the danger of playing behind a car.

The NHTSA believes the rule could save more than 100 lives a year and prevent 8,000 injuries a year.