By Kelly Khizakia
Backing up could be soon be safer and easier for drivers.
The United States’ Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this week that rear visibility technology must be installed in all new American vehicles weighing under 4,500 kilograms by May 2018.
The risk of fatalities and serious injuries will hopefully decrease with the ruling, U.S. officials said.
All vehicles – including buses and trucks – under 4,500 kilograms that are manufactured on or before May 1, 2018, will be required to have rear visibility technology, such as reverse cameras.
The technology works to expand the driver’s rear-end view so they can detect areas behind the vehicle, an attempt to avoid back-over incidents.
The field of view requires a 3×6 metre zone behind the vehicle and has to meet the requirements regarding image size, linger and response time, durability and deactivation.
The safety organiation says there are 210 fatalities in the U.S. annually and 15,000 injuries caused by back-over accidents, many of them small children or elderly people.
Below is a graph of the percentage of annual back-over fatalities in the U.S.
The regulation is not yet required by Transport Canada, but there are vehicles with programmed devices similar to the visibility technology in the U.S. The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze and some Ford vehicles have rearview cameras already. Drivers can also buy their own systems from electronic dealers.
Transport Canada released their 2011 Traffic Collision Statistics surveying injuries, fatalities and drivers from 2007 – 2011. In 2007, pedestrians accounted for over 13 per cent of fatalities and within five years, the percentage increased to over 15 per cent. Below is a graph showing the specific number of pedestrians fatalities through the five years.