The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that an average of 15,000 people are injured and 210 are killed every year in back-over accidents alone. A back-over accident occurs when a driver fails to see a person behind his or her vehicle while backing up. Often this occurs because the victim is in the blind zone behind a vehicle - a risk that is much more present for children under five who, along with the elderly account for over half of those killed in these tragic accidents.
As of May 2018, all new vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds are required to come equipped with rear-view cameras to help prevent back-over accidents. While the NHTSA mandated the addition of visibility technology in new vehicles in 2014, the requirements are only now going into effect.
Requirements for rear-view cameras are simple: they must cover a 10-to-20 foot zone in the rear of the vehicle and provide a warning when an object, be that a tree, a bicycle, or a child, is in the way. This alerts drivers to stop and clear the path before moving on.
Rear-view cameras in cars and trucks have shown to reduce the risk of back-over accidents by as much as 90%, prompting the NHTSA to suggest visibility technology could save nearly 70 lives a year.
Not a Replacement for Responsible Driving
Safety equipment, including visibility technology like rear-view cameras, continues to improve - and still, fatal traffic accidents are on the rise. In 2016, 40,327 people were killed in auto accidents. That number dipped slightly in 2017 to 40,100. However, while there was a small reduction in the number of fatal accidents from 2016 to 2017, traffic deaths had not exceeded 40,000 in nearly a decade prior. And this despite the addition of hands-free technology and various safety improvements made to vehicles over the past several years. Clearly, the biggest problem continues to be people.
Even the safest car cannot prevent an inattentive or otherwise irresponsible driver from causing harm. From distraction to intoxication to erratic speeds and unpredictable lane-changes, irresponsible drivers place everyone on the road at great risk for injury. This is equally true when backing up as it is when driving forward - and these drivers must be held accountable for the injuries and fatalities they cause.
When you are injured or a loved one is killed by a careless driver, you have legal recourse. Herbert Thornbury, Attorney at Law welcomes an opportunity to meet with you free of charge and discuss your options. Call us at 423-443-3973 to set up an appointment at our Chattanooga office. Mr. Thornbury represents families living in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.