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DOT steps in to help prevent child fatalities from backovers

December 24, 2010

According to NHTSA, about 300 children are killed each year from accidental backovers, and an additional 18,000 are injured. 85% of these accidents are caused by parents or caregivers. Fortunately, the number of backover related deaths could soon be decreasing, as new government regulations can help prevent these accidents by 2014.

The Associated Press reports that the Department of Transportation wants to help reduce the number of backover related injuries or deaths by requiring the use of cameras and better outward visibility in vehicles. Many cars today are designed to enhance styling and perform better in side-impact crash tests. Because of this, outward visibility is often compromised. SUV’s and pickups have the greatest disadvantage as they sit higher off the ground, making it harder to see small children.

Auto manufacturers will be able to satisfy the requirement by designing cars that have better outward visibility, but it is believed that most car manufactured will implement cameras instead. Although backup cameras will add to the cost of vehicles, it is a small price to pay to prevent these accidents from happening.

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