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The NHTSA Mandates Rear View Cameras For All By 2018; And Also Creating Guidelines For Driverless Google Vehicles

rearviewmirrorAt the law offices of local attorney, John C. Manoog III, we keep abreast of legal and social trends that may make the roads safer. We see the consequences of car accidents everyday, and preventing the injuries of negligent drivers is why we do the work we do. The law offices of John C. Manoog III have the experience in handling motor vehicle accidents, and can get you the compensation you deserve.

Recently, there have been many trends in the technology of vehicles that will help save lives and change the legal field. Usually, these changes are incorporated into legislation or regulations.

NHTSA Mandates Rear View Cameras

In a press released dated March 31, 2014, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) announced that by May 2018, all new vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds will be required to have rear visibility technology. Basically, rear visibility technologies comprise of high resolution mounted on the back of cars, allowing allow drivers to see traditional blind spots. The cameras have smart technologies that position and focus the cameras for a variety driving conditions. The visual display is mounted in the vehicle cabin much like a rear view mirror.

The NHTSA is hoping the new technology will reduce back-over crashes and other accidents. According to the NHTSA, 201 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year are caused by back-over crashes. Children under five account for at least 31 percent of all back-over fatalities. The NHTSA predicts that 58 to 69 lives could be saved a year because of the mandate.

Scientific Product Review Of Rear View Camera

CHOICE, an Australian publisher of scientific product reviews, has created a Reversing Visibility Index to measure rear view blind spots in several types of motor vehicles. The index takes into account the visible area and visible distance behind vehicles. The vehicles are rated on a zero to five star rating, five providing the most visibility for the greatest distance. Most vehicles with only rear view mirrors had a star rating of zero or near zero, with almost no visibility in traditional blind spots. Cars with reverse driving sensors, as opposed to cameras, increased the start rating anywhere from half a star rating to two stars. All vehicles with rear visibility cameras had star rating of five the, giving the vehicle maximum area and distance visibility.

Kids Transportation Safety Act

The NHTSA mandate came about largely because of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2008 (“KTSA”). The act is named after Cameron Gulbransen, a two year old child who died in 2002. Tragically, Cameron died when his father, not realizing that Cameron had followed him to their drive way, unknowingly backed over Cameron because his father could not see him within the blind spot of the rear view mirrors.

KTSA mandated that the NHTSA begin rule making and setting vehicle requirements for rearward visibility in vehicles, giving the NHTSA power to mandate rear visibility technologies.

Nhtsa Guidelines For Driverless Vehicles

Another trend in vehicle safety is driverless vehicles, which rear visibility technologies are playing a key part. Connected vehicles are a combination of technologies that will eventually bring about driverless cars. The NHTSA has outlined five levels of driverless cars:

  1. 0. No-Automation: The driver is in complete and sole control of the vehicle.
  2. 1. Function-specific Automation: Automation involves one or more specific controls. For example, automatic braking that stops a vehicle if danger is detected.
  3. 2. Combined Function Automation: Automation of at least two primary controls. For example, adaptive cruise control in combination with lane centering.
  4. 3. Limited Self-Driving Automation: Vehicles allow the driver to cede full control of all controls under certain conditions. A driver can transition back and fort between full control and driverless mode.
  5. 4. Full Self-Driving Automation: The vehicle is in complete control of all functions.

The NHTSA is in the process of laying out rigorous testing and design standards for driverless vehicles. Also, Nissan, Tesla, and Google are in a race to bring driverless vehicles to the road. Google has the most optimistic goal of having level 3 vehicles in production by 2017.

With both rear view technologies and driverless vehicles, driving errors and accidents will be greatly reduced. These technologies remove human error, the largest cause of accidents on the road. Nevertheless, in the meantime, there are still negligent drivers on the road that could cause you harm.

If you have been injured by the negligent driving of another driver, it is recommended that you speak with a local car accident attorney.

Local attorney, John C. Manoog III, has extensive experience handling motor vehicle accident cases. For a free initial consultation, call the office at 888-262-6664 or reach us on our contact page. There is always someone available to talk to you about your case.

Additional Resources:
NHTSA Announces Final Rule Requiring Rear Visibility Technology, Mar. 31, 2014, National Highway Safety Administration

S. 694 (110th): Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007., Feb. 28, 2008, GovTrack.us by Civic Impulse, LLC

Related Blog Posts:
How the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s V2V Mandate Will Change Massachusetts’ Car Accident Cases, Feb. 5, 2014, Cape Cod Injury Lawyer Blog

National Transportation Safety Board Urges States to Reduce Allowable Blood-Alcohol Limit, May. 16, 2013, Cape Cod Injury Lawyer Blog