Rear-view cameras may be standard vehicle equipment aimed at reducing car accident injury

By Michael Pines, Accident & Injury Prevention Expert

San Diego Backover Accident Lawyer Discusses Preventions In Car Accidents, Rear Cameras

San Diego Backover Accident Lawyer Discusses Preventions In Car Accidents, Rear Cameras

Many car accidents in San Diego are preventable. Driving under the influence, distracted driving and even basic human error are just some of the ways car accidents occur but can easily be avoided. When accidents are caused purely on the basis of hindered visibility – such as accidents caused by backing into a pedestrian — the frustration is even more concerning. That’s because these types of accidents can be prevented with existing technology.

By now, we ought to have standardized vehicle systems that aim to improve the safety of everyone on our roadways – not just those who can afford it. And it seems the federal government follows the same sentiment. In its latest recommendation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Tuesday it would add rear-view camera systems to its list of safety features submitted to all car manufacturers in an effort to reduce accidents and improve safety.

The New Car Assessment Program initiated by the NHTSA encourages car makers to equip vehicles with standardized safety equipment. Now, rear-view video systems will be added to the list of recommended features – but is it enough?

Some safety groups say the recommendation, although laudable, falls flat. Standardized rear-view cameras were universally passed as law in 2008 with a 2011 deadline. Still, the initiative continues to stall with this latest recommendation.

“Safety advocates are concerned that NHTSA’s announcement is an attempt to divert attention from their failure to act,” said Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety according to the latest reports at CNN.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says that more than 200 people are killed every year in accidents caused by backing up – also known as “backover” accidents. An additional 17,000 individuals are further injured – and the number has tragically grown.

Children are the most susceptible to backover accidents. Forty-four percent of all backover fatalities are children, and most of the time, the driver is a parent or family member. According to a report published by the NHTSA in December 2010, rear-view cameras could cut the fatalities and injuries in half.

Until cameras are universally standardized, here’s what you can do to stay safe.

TAKE ACTION TODAY: WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT THE NEXT BACKOVER ACCIDENT?

The truth is that even when rear-view cameras become standardized equipment, it will take years for everyone to be well-equipped. That’s because not everyone will spring for a new car right away; and those who do may purchase used cars without rear-view cameras. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make changes today to prevent the next backover accident in San Diego. Take action today!

INSTALL YOUR OWN REAR-VIEW CAMERA. Did you know you can easily install your own rear-view camera? You don’t need a flashy in-dash camera system to be safe. A rear-view mirror/camera combination is the ideal choice and runs for just under $100 making this piece of equipment relatively affordable, especially when you can save potential lives with its use.

BACK-UP ALARM. Here’s a really easy and affordable way to stay safe – install a simple back-up alarm. For just under $10, you can add an alarm to your vehicle that warns pedestrians, including the little ones, that your vehicle is backing up. This alarm is especially great for any household with children.

ADJUSTABLE BLIND SPOT MIRROR. Our side mirrors don’t give us a clear view of the entire picture. A small adjustable blind spot mirror placed in the corner of your existing side mirror can give you an advantage when backing up. At only roughly $10, this mirror could literally be a lifesaver.

GO SLOW. It may go without saying, but you should always approach backing up in a slow and oriented fashion. Avoid quick movements and always look behind you. Use your side mirrors and be extra cautious on downhill driveways or cul-de-sacs where visibility can be hindered.

About Michael Pines

Michael Pines is a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC in San Diego, California. He is an accident and injury prevention expert, on a campaign to end senseless injury one article at a time. Catch Mike on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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Posted by Social Media Staff on Oct 1, 2013. Filed under Columns, Michael Pines, Sponsored Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “Rear-view cameras may be standard vehicle equipment aimed at reducing car accident injury”

  1. Hi Michael:

    Thanks for the great information!

    I wanted to share with you a bit of information about 2 things you may want to update in your article.

    1. The information you provided says “Standardized rear-view cameras were universally passed as law in 2008 with a 2011 deadline. Still, the initiative continues to stall with this latest recommendation.”
    Actually, The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act passed in 2008 required that a rear visibility standard be issued by February 28, 2011.

    2. There is a bit of information you may not want to provide as it refers to young children. Below is your information provided about backup alarms.
    “BACK-UP ALARM. Here’s a really easy and affordable way to stay safe – install a simple back-up alarm. For just under $10, you can add an alarm to your vehicle that warns pedestrians, including the little ones, that your vehicle is backing up. This alarm is especially great for any household with children.”

    Below is a URL that provides information about what occurred when backup alarms were tested to see if they would be effective for children. Unfortunately, children do not understand that a beeping noise may mean they have put themselves in harms way.

    http://www.kidsandcars.org/userfiles/dangers/backovers/studies/2003-child-response-backup-device-study.pdf

    Let’s hope we can get the rear visibility standard issued as soon as possible because as we know, it’s literally impossible to prevent hitting something you cannot see.

  2. DO YOU UNDERSTAND!! That once again we are MANDATING a camera in every car to protect you against you but

    You can tow a Homemade Trailer with defective equipment and destroy anybody you want.

    http://www.dangeroustrailers.org will expose the facts and only the facts.

    According to The Detroit News, NHTSA has informed Congress that it wants more time to finalize the rules, which were supposed to be ready today, since the public comment period has only been closed for a little while.

    According to NHTSA, backup cameras could help prevent nearly 300 fatal backover-related accidents a year (of that total, around 100 are children younger than five and another third are elderly people).

    NHTSA estimates that once the new regulations will cost the auto industry between $1.9 and $2.7 billion annually, once they go into effect. The cost per vehicle would be just shy of $159-$203 for cars without a pre-existing navigation screen, and $53-$88 for cars with a screen.

    Interestingly, NHTSA estimates the industry-wide expense of the measure at between $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion, and it reportedly acknowledges that its own cost-benefit analysis standards indicate that the price tag of the regulation will far outstrip the cost associated with lives saved by the law. That is, NHTSA uses a working figure of the “comprehensive cost for a statistical life” at $6.1 million, but the costs per life saved by the backup camera legislation would likely tally somewhere between $11.3 to $72.2 million

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