US to require rearview cameras in new vehicles

March 31, 2014 by Stacy A. Anderson

The U.S. Transportation Department issued a rule Monday that will require rearview technology in many new vehicles—an effort to reduce deaths and serious injuries caused by backup accidents.

The final rule issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require new vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4,535 kilograms) and built on-or-after May 1, 2018 to meet the new rear-visibility standards. The rule includes buses and trucks. Motorcycles and trailers are exempt.

The rearview cameras must give drivers a field of vision measuring at least 10 by 20 feet (3 by 6 meters) directly behind the . The system must also meet other requirements including dashboard image size, lighting conditions and display time.

Backup accidents involving light vehicles cause an average of 210 deaths and 15,000 injuries a year, and victims often include children and the elderly, the government said. Children under 5 years old account for 31 percent of the deaths each year, while adults 70 years of age and older represent about 26 percent.

NHTSA said the new rule, required in the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, will save between 13 to 15 lives per year and prevent as many as 1,125 injuries per year. The measure, signed into law in 2008, was named for a 2-year-old Long Island boy whose pediatrician father backed over him in their driveway in 2002.

The government estimates that a rearview system will cost between $132 and $142 per vehicle. It will cost about $43 to $45 for vehicles that already have a dashboard display screen, but need upgrades to comply with the rule.

Compliance will be phased in by manufacturers starting in May 2016, before it becomes mandatory two years later.

"Today's decision will save lives and save money for consumers," Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety President Jackie Gillan said in a statement. "Every make and model will be required to meet this new safety standard and every family will benefit."

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not rated yet Mar 31, 2014
Not such a good idea as you might expect, unfortunately.

I still remember the big SUV that briskly reversed out of a hospital parking bay on the strength of its reversing camera.

Unfortunately, it was mid-Winter, with clear sky, low Sun-angle and a hard frost. Together, these had blinded the low-mounted rear camera to my silver-coloured city-car's wary approach...

not rated yet Apr 01, 2014
Collision avoidance technology on its way.

Insurance premium cuts will easily pay for it.
5 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2014
Insurance premium cuts will easily pay for it.

Insurances will cut their premiums? What fairytale country is this you speak of?
not rated yet Apr 01, 2014
If you've ever purchased car insurance you've received your rate based on the expected loss for the particular car you drive.

Anti-lock brake? Lower rate.

Car alarm system? Lower rate.

Collision avoidance system? Lower risk for the insurance company so lower rate.
5 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2014
Well, yeh...but that's like companies putting out add that they 'slashed their prices by 50%'...when first they just upped their price by 100%.

The profit margin for businesses is pretty low. There is no way (and no incentive) for them to cut into their own profits, is there?
not rated yet Apr 01, 2014
If an improvement is made to a vehicle which makes it less likely to be involved in a crash then the insurance company will have lower costs. Lower costs allow for lower premium without profit destruction.

Competition between insurance companies will bring down prices.
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2014
Do collision avoidance systems detect children?

The main purpose of rear view cameras is to avoid injury to people. None of the above mentioned safety systems addresses personal injury to third parties, so I do not expect a reduction in insurance premiums.

It seems to me that if a driver is careless in observing a potential hazard behind the vehicle, then a rear view camera is just another gadget that can get ignored.

Is their any evidence that these cameras actually do reduce impacts?

not rated yet Apr 02, 2014
Yes. Toyota demonstrated the ability to detect children back in 2006.

There's a recent report on the ability to detect and identify small objects at an incredible distance but I can't locate it at the moment. Cars not only recognize objects but they calculate their routes if they are moving.

If you injure someone with your car that is likely covered in your insurance policy. At least in California. The insurance company for the guy who crashed into me paid out $100,000.

It's not so much being careless. Sometimes it's difficult to see. I frequently have to back out and find my view to the right blocked by a large vehicle. I have to ease out far enough to see around.

I'm not sure how you see a toddler who has wandered behind your car as you were starting the engine, putting on your seatbelt, etc. You just can't see down there with car mirrors.

I'm not convinced that these cameras will save a lot of lives. But I suspect they'll help prevent a lot of fender benders.
not rated yet Apr 02, 2014
A bit more...

Remember, we've got cheap digital cameras that recognize when someone is smiling, has their eyes open, can recognize a face and focus on it. We've got a lot of image processing ability that can be brought into play.

A car's computer can store a lot of object descriptions. And if it sees something it doesn't recognize it can alert the driver and go into "don't hit it mode".
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2014
Thanks Mr Wallace for your interesting comment. Here in Australia we have compulsory third party personal injury insurance that can be as much as $900 each year (then add registration fees and vehicle insurance and well ... Ouch).

I am not convinced these devices will include object recognition and alert systems but lets hope. We have many media reports here of children being severely injured by drivers reversing.

On a lighter note, I would like a reversing camera so that I don't keep colliding with my garbage bin on a weekly basis. It's dark green and I leave for work near dawn .. Well that's my excuse!
1 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2014
Another case of the obscenely rich getting obscenely richer by forced consumption. And the gullible not being able to realize that.
Helmets for bike riding, based on a single claimed incident, after a century of use, of someone falling off a bike and getting a "brain injury". Then helmets for roller skating, skateboarding, roller blading. Then knee and elbow pads. Then they staged the Natashe Richardson "accident" to try to force helmets while skiing, but those who ski are the rich and they know a scam when they see it. That's why it never succeeded!
Similarly for incandescent bulbs. And the Obama "healthcare" act is forced consumption of insurance when cracking down on criminal behavior by "doctors", "Drug" companies, the crooked insurance carriers and the "law" would allow people to afford "healthcare" out of pocket!
If they stopped building cars deliberately with narrow rear windows and normal height trunk lids, they wouldn't need television systems.
not rated yet Apr 05, 2014
"Helmets for bike riding..."
IIRC, UK traffic police persuaded all but the most reluctant bikers to 'lid up' by politely handing out organ-donor opt-in cards. Sadly, their success meant a cruel short-fall in the supply of kidneys for transplant...

Also, check the (in)efficiency of a 'standard' incandescent bulb. It would be fair to describe them as a room heater plus pilot light. 'Rough Service' bulbs are often worse, 'Halogen' bulbs are usually better. That said, there are places where only an 'incandescent' bulb will survive without heroic engineering. And, yes, they are so easy to dim.

Although CFLs are much more efficient and run cooler, the 'exposed loop' varieties are so easy to break, the 'enclosed' types run hotter and, until recently, too many flickered until they warmed up.

I'm not yet confident about LED's durability but I have several in use. One trick is to mix LED and CFLs in a multi-lamp fitting, so the LED's 'instant on' masks the more powerful CFLs' slow start...

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