Drivers Deserve Back-Up Backup In Their Vehicles

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A coalition of safety advocates have sued the Department of Transportation in a bid to force the agency’s hand when it comes to a rule mandating the installation of rearview cameras on all new vehicles. The Ochs Law Firm supports their efforts, but with such a ruling still likely to be months (if not years) off, the practice is offering drivers tips on how they can avoid a serious, potentially deadly, accident.

You can’t just cross your fingers and hope that a mere recommendation is going to get the point across

In 2008, a law was passed that tasked the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with coming up with a rule that would require all new automobiles to be equipped with a rearview camera. The hope was that such a move would save lives and prevent injuries related to a driver backing out of a space without being able to see a child or obstacle behind them.

Cut to October 2013 and the rule still has not come into effect. The DOT blames the delay on the deluge of public comments that came in to the agency and the difficulties inherent in sorting out the complexities surrounding the issue. On September 24, the DOT recommended that such cameras be included in newly produced automobiles but stopped short of making such installation a requirement.

This doesn’t sit well with safety advocates. As noted in a Time article from September 25, 2013 entitled “Rearview Camera Delay Steers U.S. Into Court Challenge,” a cadre of safety organizations have come together to file a lawsuit against the DOT. The groups, including Kids and Cars, Public Citizens, Consumers Union, and more, hope that such a move will force the government to act ahead of the recently announced 2015 timetable.

The Ochs Law Firm is staunchly in favor of the installation of rearview cameras and hopes that the DOT will reconsider its position. Attorney Jason Ochs has helped individuals who have been involved in auto accidents, and he understands that rearview cameras have a vital role to play in boosting safety.

“You can’t just cross your fingers and hope that a mere recommendation is going to get the point across,” said Mr. Ochs from his office in Irvine, California. “Some automakers might choose to comply while others neglect the recommendation. And when consumers are given the option of whether or not to invest in a rearview camera, they may perceive rearview cameras as an unnecessary bell and whistle, overlooking the impact on safety. Many lives could be saved between now and 2015 if rearview cameras became mandatory.”

With regulations and the status of the lawsuit still pending, it’s currently up to consumers to do their part to minimize back-up accidents. The following tips can help such persons achieve that:

•Purchase a Vehicle With a Rearview Camera- While it’s true that not all new automobiles come equipped with such a camera, there are still many that do and even more that include the camera as an optional feature. Because safety improvements should never be optional, consumers should opt for a car with a rearview camera if they can.

•Purchase an Aftermarket Product- For some, it’s simply not feasible to purchase an automobile with a rearview camera. However, there are multiple third-party systems that offer similar coverage. A consumer should do his or her research to find a camera with a track record of reliability.

•Walk All The Way Around The Car Before Backing Up- In the hustle and bustle of the morning or afternoon commute, many people simply don’t pay the requisite amount of attention to their surroundings when pulling out of their driveways. No matter where a person is parked, he or she should walk around the full length of the car to ensure no children or obstacles are present.

•Be Careful In Parking Lots- A lot happens in the average supermarket or shopping mall parking lot, especially on busy weekends when people are out running errands. Drivers should be extremely cautious in such environments, making note of any children in the vicinity. Be ready to hit the brakes in case an over-excited child darts behind the vehicle.

Ochs Law is an award-winning practice recognized by such entities as the American Trial Lawyers Association, Super Lawyers, the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Association for Justice. With offices in Wyoming, California, and Colorado, the firm is able to offer representation to victims of back-up accidents as well as assistance to persons going through divorce, filing class action lawsuits, defending against criminal accusations, and more. The practice’s website, available at the above link, offers a free consultation service and a litany of resources to those hoping to learn more about representation.

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Jason Ochs
Ochs Law Firm
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