The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been discussing a new rule requiring back-up cameras in all new vehicles to prevent back-over car accidents. Originally, the NHTSA wanted to apply the rule to all vehicles by 2014, but it has decided to hold off on creating the rule. The NHTSA said that it needs to conduct more data analysis. According to the NHTSA, back-over accidents cause about 18,000 injuries and 229 deaths per year. The agency found that 44 percent of back-over accidents involve children under five years of age and that 33 percent of back-over accidents involve adults over 70 years of age.
The back-up camera system allows people to see behind them via a screen on the dash whenever the vehicle is put into reverse. All cars and trucks have a blind spot behind the vehicle. The distance in the blind spot depends on the type of vehicle. A vehicle could have as little as 5 feet and up to 50 feet in its blind spot – a spot where the driver cannot see by looking in the mirrors or by turning around. If the proposed rule had gone into affect this year, the new rule would require auto makers to add the system to 10 percent of new cars sold by September 2012. By September 2013, auto makers would be required to install the system in 40 percent of their vehicles, and by September 2014, all new cars would have the backup camera system. NHTSA expects the cost to automakers to be $1.9 to $2.7 billion for 16.6 million vehicles sold in 2014. NHTSA states that the benefits outweigh the cost of the system because so many children are killed in back-over accidents.
CNN Money: “Rearview car camera rules delayed by U.S.,” Peter Valdes-Dapena, Feb. 29, 2012