In April, a Fort Walton Beach toddler was accidently run over when a family friend backed out of a driveway. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced new rules to help drivers avoid these tragic accidents.
Apparently walking behind the pick-up truck, the legs of the toddler were run over as the truck backed out of the driveway. The driver had asked bystanders if it was clear and had received the go-ahead.
In this case, the toddler survived. Children under age five and adults over 70 are often injured or killed in such backover accidents. In March, NHTSA announced a final rule to require new safety technology in vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2018.
According to NHTSA, more than 200 people are killed each year, and 15,000 are injured in accidents where motorists back into pedestrians. Intended to give motorists an assist in seeing behind their vehicle, some key points of the new rule include the following:
- New vehicles must have a clear rear view 10 feet by 30 feet directly behind the vehicle.
- The motorist must be able to see the area behind the car. Assistive technology cannot be limited to sensors that beep if an object or person is behind the car.
Acting NHTSA Administrator David Friedman noted "Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur.”
The new rule applies to all vehicles over 10,000 pounds, including buses and trucks. While some cars currently have technology to alert drivers of objects behind them, the new rule standardizes safety requirements across automobile manufacturers.
When backing out, always look twice and go slow. If you, or someone you know is injured in a backing or other car accident in Charlotte County, speak with dedicated personal injury law firm in Bradenton.