If you drive a big SUV, you know that it can be difficult to see behind you. SUVs generally have thick rear pillars and small rear windows, which means backing them up is often more difficult than it is in smaller cars. Backup cameras help alleviate this problem by showing the driver what’s behind him or her when the vehicle is in reverse.
Backup cameras are expected to become mandatory on new passenger vehicles, starting with the 2014 model year. “Federal regulators plan to announce this week that automakers will be required to put rearview cameras in all passenger vehicles by 2014 to help drivers see what is behind them,” The New York Times reports. The federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration originally proposed the plan in 2010, and “is expected to send a final version of the rule to Congress on Wednesday.”
Left Lane News says, “That detailed proposal stems from 2008′s Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, which was named after a two-year-old child who was killed when his father backed over him while at the wheel of the family’s SUV.”
USA Today writes, “In making the initial proposal NHSTA estimated that annually some 292 fatalities and 18,000 injuries resulted from back-over incidents. It said 228 of the fatalities involve cars and lights trucks. And it said the most likely to be victims are kids and older folks, with 44% of the light-vehicle fatalities involving children under age 5 and 33% involve people age 70 or older.”
According to Kids And Cars, a nonprofit group, 50 children are injured every week from vehicle backover accidents, and at least two children die from those injuries. The group says that more than 60 percent of backover incidents involved a large SUV, truck or van.
If backup cameras are required as standard equipment, it will cost automakers about $160 to $200 more per vehicle to install, The New York Times reports. Backup cameras are optional on many new vehicles and are already standard on many luxury vehicles, as well as some more affordable vehicles, like the GMC Terrain.
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