Backup Cameras Could Save Lives of Children

November 18th, 2013

Blind-spot distances

Cars are dangerous.

It’s easy to forget that something so common in our lives, something so many of us safely use each day, can cause utter devastation in people’s lives.

Cars and trucks are essentially large, heavy chunks of metal that are capable of inflicting great damage. I was reminded of this fact by the tragic story of a Chevy Avalanche owner who accidentally backed over a child. It’s a terrible reminder that cars are dangerous, especially many of the late-model vehicles with sloped roofs, small windows and large blind spots.

Is a sleek look worth the added safety risk?

The topic of blind-spot safety should be one that’s more commonly addressed. Consumer Reports did a piece on the topic in 2012 and said:

Every year, children are injured and killed because drivers (in 70% of cases, parents and relatives) don’t see them while backing up. According to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit group that works to improve child safety around cars, at least 50 children are backed over every week in the U.S. Forty-eight are treated in hospital emergency rooms and at least 2 children die.

That’s horrifying and should never happen. The best way to prevent it is to be extra careful when backing up. Ideally, drivers should walk a full circle around their vehicle before getting in and leaving the driveway, paying special attention to any children nearby.

Pickup trucks and SUVs can have a blind spot of up to 50 feet, meaning anything under 28 inches tall within that zone won’t be seen by a driver in a moving vehicle.

As backup cameras in new cars become more prevalent, accidents should decrease. Personally, I believe every new vehicle, at least trucks and SUVs, should come standard with a camera. That’s a small price to pay by automakers to help put an end to the tragedy of kids getting hurt or killed by family vehicles.

Do you think all new vehicles should come with a backup camera for safety reasons?

-tgriffith

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  1. James
    November 19th, 2013 at 17:22 | #1

    This is a huge issue. I was backing out of a driveway at night, with a backup camera, and almost hit a mom and her little daughter. Scared the crap out of me, but I didn’t see them until the last second. Backup camera didn’t help, it was my eyes that saved me.

  2. Randy
    November 18th, 2013 at 18:27 | #2

    This is an area that needs attention, but I’m baffled why such a group isn’t SCREAMING about school buses with NO SEAT BELTS or protection for passengers. Far more kids are injured and killed every year in school bus accidents than these backover incidents.
    The school bus “industy” (many parts of which are government entities) carefully massage statistics (such as eliminating parochial school bus incidents) to seriously under-report the large number of injuries and deaths in school buses every year. Think about the average of two kids killed each year in backover incidents in comparison to single school bus accidents where two, three, six or even more students or staff are killed. While seat belts wouldn’t have help in some of the worst accidents (like the Chicago area train-bus crash that killed 29 students), the deaths and injuries could be substantially reduced if bus interiors included belts and in some areas, air bags.
    The simple fact of the matter is that school districts are willing to kill and injure students to save money, and many of the people who administer these programs won’t let their own children ride these dangerous buses. It’s amazing that so many lazy or ignorant parents risk the lives of their children every day in these big yellow death traps.

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