The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a final rule requiring rear visibility technology in all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds by May 2018. This new rule will significantly reduce the risk of fatalities and serious injuries caused by backover accidents.
The rule will require all vehicles under 10,000 pounds, including buses and trucks, manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, to come equipped with rear visibility technology that expands the field of view to enable the driver of a motor vehicle to detect areas behind the vehicle to reduce death and injury resulting from backover incidents. The field of view must include a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. The system must also meet other requirements including image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation.
"Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur," said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman.
210 deaths a year
On average, there are 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year caused by backover crashes. NHTSA has found that children under 5 years old account for 31 percent of backover fatalities each year, and adults 70 years of age and older account for 26 percent.
The final rule complements action taken by the agency last year to incorporate rear visibility technology into the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). NHTSA's NCAP program – widely known for its 5-Star Safety Ratings – highlights for consumers the vehicle makes and models that are equipped with the agency's Recommended Advanced Technology Features that can help drivers avoid crashes and reduce other safety risks. Forward collision warning (FCW) and lane departure warning (LDW) systems are also highlighted under NCAP on www.safercar.gov.
To help prevent future deaths and injuries, especially those involving small children, NHTSA offers these important safety tips.