Rear-view cameras, designed to eliminate blind spots behind vehicles that contribute to back-over collisions, are estimated to save hundreds of lives and thousands of injuries each year. Forty-four percent of fatalities involve children under five. “There is no more tragic accident than for a parent or caregiver to back out of a garage or driveway and kill or injure an undetected child playing behind the vehicle," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Although Ford Motor Corp. plans to equip almost their entire line of pick-up trucks, vans, and crossovers with a Rear View Camera System by the end of 2011, the mandate that was set to go in affect by 2014 has been put on hold. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is requesting more time to adopt the rules governing the new safety requirement, and is providing no timetable as to when the regulations will be completed. It is expected that the rule will be modified to include testing for illumination at night and the time it takes for the picture to appear on the display. Overall, major changes are not expected.
Opponents are concerned about the cost factor associated with this technology. It is estimated that the rear-view camera would increase the cost of a vehicle by approximately $200. I find it interesting that consumers are hesitant to invest in new technologies that can save lives, but are quite eager to pay whatever the price for entertainment and conveniences.
Despite the delay in this mandate, rear-view camera systems are already becoming an increasingly common safety feature in vehicles. Besides Ford, Toyota has more than ten different models that include the systems, and all new Lexus models have that option. Nissan has their Around View Monitor, which displays a complete 360 view of the car to help with parking.
Whether your vehicle has the rear-view camera or not, drivers must remember that no technology can, or should, replace full attention and vigilance when backing up. Always know where children are before you start your car and check to make sure no one is behind you before backing up.
Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.