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Deadline for mandatory inclusion of rear-view cameras set for May 1, 2018

The day starts out like any other day. You shower, dress and eat breakfast before heading out to the garage to begin your commute to work. You get in your car, open the garage door and begin backing out of the garage. All of the sudden, you hear a thud and feel the car's rear tires rise off the ground. As you get out of the car to investigate, you're overcome with grief and sadness as you realize you've backed over your four-year-old neighbor.

While the circumstances of the backup accident detailed above are fictional, an estimated 15,000 people are injured and 210 killed in backup automobile accidents each year. Many backup injuries involve children whose small stature make them difficult for drivers to see when using only using rear and side-view mirrors. While a bill was passed in 2008 related to the mandated inclusion of rear-view cameras in personal vehicles, officials at the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration only recently announced that "rear visibility technology"will soon be required in all personal motor vehicles.

After years of debate and conflict over how to enforce the measure, the U.S. Transportation Department finally announced that, starting May 1, 2018, automakers will be required to include rearview camera technology in cars and light trucks. The NHTSA estimates the inclusion of rearview cameras will help prevent thousands of deaths and injuries in the U.S. each year.

For individuals who have been personally injured or had a loved one injured or killed in a backup accident, the new law requiring rearview cameras comes too late. Even when deemed an accident, individuals impacted by a backup accident and subsequent injuries or death may choose to take legal action. Compensation awarded in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can help pay medical bills and account for lost wages.

Source: Tri-County Times Newspaper, "Rearview cameras; mandatory by 2018," William Axford, June 3, 2014

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