For ten years, the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, a transportation advocacy group, urged the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to standardize and require backup cameras for all cars.
The group, along with other safety and consumer groups, sued the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2013, claiming the agency had not done enough to standardize the equipment. The NHTSA then adopted a rule in 2014, requiring “rearview visibility systems” (backup cameras) be standard in all new cars, to be phased in and fully effective as of May 1, 2018.
Most cars, especially larger SUV’s, have a blind zone straight back. The cameras are designed to prevent backup incidents. They provide a view of what is behind the car, reducing the chance of backing up over something (or someone).
Prior to the rule adoption, a NHTSA report found that each year over 200 people died and 15,000 were injured in these types of accidents, with almost a third of them involving children under the age of five.
Retrofitting an Existing Car
Most cars on the road are over ten years old, and so do not have the technology. But you do not have to buy a new car to benefit from this new technology. It is possible to retrofit your car using relatively inexpensive aftermarket systems. Many of these are sold as do-it-yourself kits.
If you are not up for installing it yourself (estimates range from ten minutes to three hours for the installation) then a car audio/electronics shop can do it for you. Best Buy’s Geek Squad, for example, will perform the installation for about $100.
Kits usually come equipped with a camera integrated into the rear-hatch handle, a wiring assembly, and a computer module that costs about $100 to $200 (but can cost much more for luxury vehicles). To find a kit compatible with your vehicle, search online using your car’s model and “rear camera retrofit.” You may also need to purchase a dashboard LED screen if your car does not already have one.
Other Safety Devices Can Help Prevent Accidents
The Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety do not want to stop with backup cameras. Other driver assist equipment has already been developed and deployed, including rear automated braking, automated-emergency braking (AEB) with forward collision alert, blind-spot warning, and lane-departure warning.
They cite Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) figures that find that rear automated braking reduces reverse-gear collisions by 62 percent. Also, AEB cuts front-end accidents by 50 percent; blind-spot warning cuts lane-changing accidents by 14 percent; and lane-departure warning cuts single-vehicle sideswipes and head-on crashes by 11 percent.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers of McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Assist Individuals Injured in Car Accidents
Driving is an inherently dangerous activity. With new technology, the risks are being reduced. But, accidents still happen. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact one of the experienced Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC for a free initial consultation. We can be reached at 302-308-7013 or you can contact us online.
We serve clients throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.