A mandate for rear-visibility systems in passenger cars will cost $43 to $142 per vehicle.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rear visibility systems analysis

Made Public Date


United States

Summary Information

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 installed as a required safety feature. These systems will be designed to display a 10-foot-by-20-foot zone behind the vehicle when the driver puts the vehicle in reverse.

As part of the Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007, NHTSA conducted research to evaluate backover crashes and need for countermeasures. Research indicated that each year approximately 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries are attributable to light vehicle backover crashes. 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 on their own and that by 2018 up to 73 percent of the new vehicle fleet would be equipped as a result of market forces, regardless of regulation. The remaining 27 percent would be equipped to satisfy regulatory requirements.


The agency estimated that it will cost between $132 and $142 to equip a vehicle with a rear-visibility system compliant with requirements in the final rule. For vehicles already equipped with a suitable display, the incremental cost to equip a vehicle ranged from $43 to $45.

With an estimated 16 million vehicles added to the vehicle fleet annually by 2018, and accounting for the rear visibility systems already installed in these vehicles as a result of market forces, the cost of regulatory requirements calculated for the remaining 27 percent of vehicles ranged from $546 to $620 million per year. Applicable to light vehicles, the final rule would result in private expenditures of up to $1.7 billion annually.

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard; Rear Visibility; Final Rule

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard; Rear Visibility; Final Rule
Publication Sort Date
U.S. DOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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System Cost

Light vehicle rear-visibility systems - $43 to $142 per vehicle Light vehicle rear-visibility systems private expenditures - full fleet - $1.7B annually.

System Cost Subsystem