The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that each year, back-over vehicle accidents cause an average of 228 deaths, and 17,000 injuries. Sadly, a significant number of the people killed or injured in this sort of car accident are young children. However, California residents may be interested to know that safety advocates say that these accidents can be significantly prevented by the addition of required rear-view camera systems to vehicles.
In fact, these very changes are in the process of being implemented, but have currently been postponed. The new rules will required that every new car and truck under 10,000 pounds have a rear-view camera system included in its design. The NHTSA estimates that the addition of these rear-view cameras will prevent 95 to 112 back-over car accident deaths as well as more than 7,000 injuries annually.
A car accident as simple as backing over someone the driver could not see due to a blind spot is a terrible tragedy, especially when it could be avoided with the addition of rear-view cameras. However, too many back-over accidents occur when a driver is acting negligently and not checking behind them before backing up their vehicle.
While the government works to determine new rules that would hopefully improve safety for drivers as well as pedestrians or children who may be near cars, hopefully California residents will continue to do their best to drive carefully. Remembering to check rear-view and side-view mirrors is one easy but important way to prevent back-over accidents.
Source: USA Today, "Child back-over deaths devastate families across U.S.," Brian Hass, March 2, 2012