Back-up camera mandate strives to prevent serious injury

How many of us have accidentally backed up into a trash can, light pole or other stationary object? Car accidents involving property are dangerous enough, but what about those that involve vehicles backing over pedestrians or young children? A growing amount of concern about back-up accidents has prompted federal regulators to take steps to prevent serious injury among children and seniors who are often wounded in such car collisions.

Numbers show that more than 200 people are killed and 15,000 others are injured strictly because of back-up accidents in Oklahoma and other states. To combat this problem, federal safety regulators have issued a requirement for all vehicles to include back-up cameras for those cars produced after May 2018. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials say that the change will reduce the number of injuries and deaths suffered by vulnerable populations on an annual basis.

NHTSA and the Department of Transportation have come under heavy fire for failing to implement such requirements sooner. In fact, the DOT had been tasked with developing a rear-visibility mandate by 2011, though four extensions were granted. That means that the requirement was not promulgated until three years after the original due date; experts say that scores of people were injured and killed because of this delay.

Although many automakers already include back-up cameras to prevent such fatal car collisions, all manufacturers must install this "extra" within the coming years. Advocates for child safety say that the automakers could have easily implemented the change by 2016. Those people are criticizing the government for giving the automakers preferable treatment while compromising safety.

Victims who have suffered serious injury -- including brain injury -- during a back-up accident may benefit from the assistance of an Oklahoma personal injury attorney. These professionals may provide additional information about insurance and potential financial compensation for pain and suffering and other claims. Responsible parties should be held accountable for their actions, even before the back-up camera installation requirement goes into effect.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Backup cameras to be required in all new vehicles, starting in 2018" David Undercoffler, Mar. 31, 2014

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