Imagine that you wake up for work one morning and everything is going just great. You make a little breakfast, sip your coffee and soon you are out the door. You walk to your driveway and get into your car, waving to some neighbors as you leave. It's practically the perfect day, isn't it?
Then you start your car and start to back up. As your car starts moving you hear those neighbors you were waving to screaming and yelling. They're telling you to stop and, thankfully, you do so as quickly as possible. You didn't see that a 4-year-old had wandered into the path of your car. Your car stopped just inches before it would have struck the helpless toddler.
This exact set of circumstances may not have happened to you, but you can probably remember a moment in your life similar to this. You back up your car and you simply can't see certain things behind you while you back up. Most people have a "close call" story while they tried to back up. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants there to be fewer of these close calls in the future.
The NHTSA just passed a rule that require auto manufacturers to put rearview cameras in their vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or less. The rule will apply to such vehicles that are made on May 1, 2018 or later. While it will be some time before the rule takes effect, it is an important safety step that will save lives and prevent many injuries caused by backup car accidents.
Source: Star Tribune, "NHTSA issues final ruling that requires rearview technology in new vehicles by 2018," Stacy A. Anderson, Associated Press, March 31, 2014