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Injuries to Children in Fort Myers and Elsewhere Likely without Rear-View Cameras

Blind spots are getting bigger and bigger in our cars, trucks and SUVs as consumers demand for more fuel efficient vehicles. With better gas mileage come more aerodynamic vehicles. Unfortunately, we may not be getting rear-view cameras in new-model cars as soon as we thought.

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) halted a rule requiring these cameras because officials felt that more research, study and data analysis was needed before this big move, according to CNN Money. These cameras, under the originally proposed rule, would have been mandatory in all new-model cars by 2014. Unfortunately, residents, more specifically kids and the elderly, will continue to face risks of injury associated with backover car accidents in Fort Myers and elsewhere.
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“This is devastating news,” said Janette Fennell of KidsAndCars.org
Our Fort Myers car accident attorneys understand that there have been more than 10 documented backover accidents recorded by KidsAndCars.org already in the first seven weeks of 2012. These accidents are serious and take the lives of far too many innocent pedestrians and cyclists. These accidents can be prevented with improvements such as back-up cameras, and with increased awareness on the part of both drivers and pedestrians.

As you may remember, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act was passed several years ago with the back-up camera requirement as a centerpiece of the legislation. This act was named after a 2-year-old kid who killed when backed over in his own driveway by his father.

Initially, the rule was to be set by the end of February. The Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) called for rear-view cameras to be mandatory on all passenger vehicles by 2014.

We were on the road to safer technology, but then Ray LaHood with the U.S. Department of Transportation released a notice stating that while significant progress has been made in this technology, there is still more that needs to be done to meet the initial proposal’s requirements. Now, we anticipate that the DOT could potentially issue a final rule by the end of 2012, according to Boca News Now.

According to KidsAndCars.org, about two children are killed every week in these kinds of accidents. An additional 50 suffer injuries.

Here’s how the rule was supposed to work: Ten percent of cars, trucks and SUVs would have to be sold with rear-view cameras by 2012, forty percent by 2013 and one-hundred percent by 2014.

“Every vehicle has a blind zone immediately behind the rear bumper. It can be five feet or 50 feet, depending on the car’s styling. Lost in that space might be a fire hydrant, a pet, or even a child,” said Ami Gadhia, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union.

Each year, these kinds of accidents take the lives of more than 225 people. These accidents also injure another 18,000 a year. Children under the age of 5 and elderly residents account for about 75 percent of injury vicitms.

If you or someone in your family has been injured or killed in a car accident in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Naples, or in Sebring, contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, for a knowledgeable explanation regarding your rights. Experienced Fort Myers injury lawyers are available for a free appointment to discuss your case in detail. Call 1-800-283-2900.

Additional Resources:

Rearview car camera rules delayed by U.S., by Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Money
More Blog Entries:

Car Accidents in Fort Myers and Elsewhere Targeted by New “Driverless Car” Technology, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, March 4, 2012

NHTSA Pushes to Reduce Bonita Springs Car Accidents, Distractions, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, March 3, 2012