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New Rule May Require Automakers to Include Rearview Cameras in New Vehicles

Earlier today, a Chicago car accident lawyer at our firm read a news report posted on WashingtonPost.com detailing a government rule that is under consideration which would require automakers to install rearview cameras in newly manufactured cars and small trucks. This rule and passenger vehicle feature, the article points out, is intended to help prevent drivers from backing over children. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the rule will be delayed until the end of this year in order to obtain more time for study and data analysis.

Our Chicago auto accident attorney learned through a statement released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s secretary that additional time has been given to the development of this rule in order to ensure that the final rule is appropriate and the safety analysis is strong. This issue also garnered government concern in 2008 when Congress encouraged safety upgrades in light of numerous motor vehicle accidents where small children were backed over.

According to current data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 300 people are killed each year due to back-over accidents, while approximately 18,000 are injured – with almost half of the deaths involving children under the age of 5. A majority of these devastating accidents transpire in driveways, as well as, parking lots.

However, our Chicago accident lawyer learned that lobbyists for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers urge administrators to allow automobile manufacturers the option to include expanded mirrors in newly manufactured vehicles – instead of in-vehicle cameras. The lobbyists assert that the cost of in-vehicle cameras in new cars would cost the manufacturing industry approximately $2.7 billion each year.

Additionally, the lobbyist point out that many automakers are concerned about the cumulative costs of federal regulations – noting that cameras are already standard in many new vehicles or are offered to car buyers as an additional vehicle feature. The federal government estimates that the camera systems would cost approximate $200 per new vehicle. However, if the automobile already had a built-in GPS screen, it would only cost manufacturers roughly $58.

Our accident attorneys in Chicago are pleased to learn that steps are being taken to decrease the increasing amount of fatalities caused by backed-over accidents. Given that a majority of accident victims in these cases are young children, the government must take the initiative to develop and implement regulations that prevent continued harm. Furthermore, our attorneys urge the traveling public to maintain the utmost caution when backing up and to always ensure the coast is clear of pedestrians and small children before travel.