The mention of a pedestrian injury usually conjures up images of a driver hitting a pedestrian with the front of their vehicle. Though far less common, backing up vehicle injuries remain a source of significant injury to pedestrians– young and old.
An alarming 17,000 people are injured every year when vehicles ‘back’ into them. Backing up vehicles also account for an average 288 pedestrian deaths each year when vehicles back over pedestrians in the rear of the vehicle.
While keeping a cautious lookout can surely help prevent some of these car accidents from occurring, the fact remains that vehicle design compounded with certain angles in which pedestrians may be positioned— gives many drivers very little opportunity to detect what is in back of them.
A proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration aims to reduce the alarming number of ‘backing up’ accidents by requiring the installation of built in cameras and viewing screens to give drivers a better view of what is in the path of their vehicle as they drive in reverse.
While the proposal still has to be approved by congress, I applaud this pedestrian safety technology. For a mere $160-200 per vehicle, this technology is a bargain compared with the toll such backing injuries put upon pedestrians— who frequently sustain life-altering injuries when they are crushed or pinned beneath a backing up vehicle.
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