The NHTSA submitted a final rule requiring more stringent rear-visibility standards in light vehicles. Effective June 6, 2014 the regulation will require automakers to phase-in the installation of rear-visibility technology in all light vehicles by May 2018. Designed to eliminate blind zones behind vehicles and afford protection to children and persons with disabilities, new cars and trucks with gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds are less will have in-vehicle rear-view video systems that will display a 10-foot-by-20-foot zone behind the vehicle when the driver engages reverse.
As part of the Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007, NHTSA conducted research to evaluate backover crashes and the need for appropriate countermeasures. Research indicated that approximately 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries are attributable to light vehicle backover crashes each year. Children under five years old accounted for 31 percent of fatalities and adults 70 years or older accounted for 26 percent.
The final rule compared the benefits and costs of the technology over a range of adoption rates. The agency reported that automakers were adopting the technology and that by 2018 up to 73 percent of the new vehicle fleet would be equipped as a result of market forces. The remaining 27 percent would be equipped to satisfy regulatory requirements.
The effectiveness of rear-view video systems was estimated to range from 28 to 33 percent which is substantially better than alternative "sensor-only systems" currently available.
- Applying the estimated effectiveness to the target population, the aforementioned systems were projected to save 58 to 69 lives per year assuming full market penetration by 2054.
- NHTSA noted that approximately 73 percent of new light vehicles will be equipped by 2018 as a result of market forces, regardless of regulation.
- Compliance by regulation, however, applicable to the remaining 27 percent of light vehicles, will save an additional 13 to 15 lives annually, and prevent 1,125 to 1,332 injuries each year.
(Our website has many links to other organizations. While we offer these electronic linkages for your convenience in accessing transportation-related information, please be aware that when you exit our website, the privacy and accessibility policies stated on our website may not be the same as that on other websites.)