Rearview cameras will soon be required in all new vehicles manufactured in the U.S., safety regulators say.

Children under the age of five face a higher risk than any other age group of being hurt or killed by a reversing vehicle, federal crash data shows. Adults age 70 and older face the second-highest risk. To help prevent backup pedestrian accidents, federal safety regulators recently announced a new rule that will require rearview cameras on all new vehicles manufactured in the United States – a rule some say should have been put in place years ago.

Regulation effective starting in 2018

Beginning in 2018, U.S. automakers will be required to include backup cameras in nearly all new vehicles. The rule will apply to all vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds, with the exception of motorcycles and trailers. Although many new vehicles already come equipped with rearview cameras, many others do not. According to Edmunds, a vehicle research firm, backup cameras came standard in 53 percent of new vehicle models in 2013 and were optional in 26 percent.

Government data shows that backup accidents involving vehicles under 10,000 pounds result in more than 200 fatalities per year in the United States, as well as 15,000 nonfatal injuries. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said the new backup camera requirement could save an estimated 13 to 15 lives per year and prevent up to 1,125 injuries.

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Regulators criticized for delays

In 2007, Congress passed a law requiring the Department of Transportation to establish a rule regarding the mandatory use of backup cameras or other warning devices on new cars and light trucks. That law required that the new rule be put in place no later than 2011; however, the DOT only recently succeeded in issuing the new rule. Had the original 2011 deadline been met, backup cameras or warning devices would have been mandatory beginning in 2014, USA Today reported.

Pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania

According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the number of pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania increased during three of the five years between 2008 and 2012. In 2012 alone, there were a total of 4,538 vehicle accidents involving pedestrians in Pennsylvania. Those crashes resulted in 168 deaths, including three children under the age of five. Backup accidents caused another 4,548 non-fatal injuries in Pennsylvania that year, including 162 injuries to children age four and under.

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Seek legal advice for pedestrian injuries

When a pedestrian of any age is harmed in a traffic accident, it is important to seek advice from an attorney to protect the legal rights of the injured person and his or her family members. Depending on the individual circumstances of the crash, those individuals may have a right to receive financial compensation for the injuries and other losses they have sustained as a result of the crash, including lost wages and medical expenses. To learn more, schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Keywords: pedestrian injuries, car accidents, personal injury

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