It is estimated that over 200 fatalities and 15,000 injuries in the U.S. each year are caused by cars and trucks backing up and hitting pedestrians. Thirty-one percent of those fatalities and injuries involve small children five years old and younger, with one-year olds suffering the most. Tragically – 70% of these accidents occur with a parent behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to do something about the problem and has just proposed a rule making reversing cameras mandatory on all light vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2018.
This news comes just weeks after a 7th grade math teacher, Dawn Mallory-Bushor, at Rham Middle School in Hebron, was critically injured and later died after a parent, who was dropping off her children, accidentally backed into Mallory.
In related safety news, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) is seeking to have side mirrors replaced by cameras in future models. The organization claims that replacing side mirrors with small digital cameras inside the cabin of the car would reduce both drag and noise – while improving driver visibility.
While we wait for these safety improvements – what can each of us do now to reduce the number of these tragic accidents?