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New Rule Takes Aim at Backover Accidents

A new federal rule intends to reduce backover accidents and fulfill the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007.

Too often, a family member or pedestrian walking behind a car suffers injury or death when struck by a backing vehicle. In March, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule to combat backover accidents.

For the family of two-year-old Cameron Gulbransen, life changed with his death in a family backover accident on October 19, 2002. Unseen by his father, Cameron was crushed by the family sports utility vehicle (SUV) with his blanket in his hand.

NHTSA estimates that 15,000 injures and more than 200 deaths are caused by backing vehicles each year. The populations most at risk for injury or death in a backover accident are children under five years old and seniors over 70.

To reduce the likelihood of an accident, NHTSA implemented a rear-visibility rule that applies to vehicles under 10,000 pounds. Cars manufactured on or after May 1, 2018 must have the following capabilities:

  • An area 10 feet by 20 feet directly behind the vehicle must be visible by the driver.
  • The field of view must be direct, not supported solely by sensors or other technology.

Noted U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, “Safety is our highest priority, and we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of backover accidents — our children and seniors.”

The federal rule ensures all cars manufactured in the U.S. after May 2018 have the same capability to detect pedestrians and stop before it is too late.

If you or a loved one suffers injury in a backover or other motor vehicle accident, seek seasoned legal counsel in New York City.

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