Hundreds of American children are needlessly injured or killed every year from being backed over. Often the driver is a loved one who was unable to visualize the child due to the vehicle’s blind-spot. According to Kids and Cars, a not for profit group dedicated to improving child safety around cars, 50 kids are backed over every week, resulting in two fatalities.
Knowing that two children are buried each week by their families, for what I consider a largely preventable tragedy, simply is not enough motivation for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to mandate that all cars be equipped with rear view cameras. In fact, the NHSTA estimates that adding back up cameras would save 100 lives per year and prevent more than 7,000 injuries. But the agency, when faced with a deadline to come up with mandatory rules on back up cameras, dropped the ball and “deferred.”
As a Hialeah children’s accident lawyer and safety advocate I find it impossible to accept that our government cannot do more to protect us from the danger of blind zones. A blind zone is an area either behind or to the side of a vehicle that the driver cannot visualize from the driver’s seat. Blind zones are especially dangerous in larger vehicles like SUVs, pickups and minivans. Sadly, these are the types of vehicles most often used to transport children.
Blind zones are measured by placing a 28 inch traffic cone behind the vehicle and utilizing drivers both 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet one inch to determine how far the cone has to be moved before the top can be seen through the rear window. A 2011 Ford Fiesta SE sedan requires 17 feet and 27 feet, respectively. That means that a child standing or playing behind the vehicle, who is less than 28 inches tall, would not be visible until the vehicle has moved back 17 to 27 feet! To see how your car or truck compares Consumer Report’s Back-Up Car and Truck Visibility Study.
My proposal, I think will both save lives and improve the economy, mandate that all cars on the road be equipped with a back up camera today. Too expensive? Employ the thousands of out of work auto workers to assemble a simple pen-sized wireless cameras that can be easily installed at any gas station, DMV or by a soccer mom. It will put both Americans to work and save lives. Do you hear me President Obama and Governor Scott? And as an added bonus, Governor, just imagine how much less PIP insurance we will use if we can just eliminate back-up car accidents in Florida?