Notable Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney, Kevin Hayslett, Weighs In On New Rule Making Rear-View Cameras Mandatory in 2018

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Manufacturers Required to Install Visibility Technology for Drivers

Kevin Hayslett, with Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A.

It’s imperative to be cautious around any moving vehicle. Parents in particular should take care to watch their children and make sure they aren’t at risk by playing behind a vehicle that could back into or over them.

Attorney Kevin Hayslett, partner with the prominent Tampa Bay law firm of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A., "The Attorney to the Stars" says the new mandate requiring visibility technology for drivers will serve as an additional factor toward reducing injuries and fatalities, especially among children and older adults.

A new rule was issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and will require all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds to include onboard rear-view cameras starting in 2018. The new rule has been introduced in order to avoid accidents during reverse maneuvers and avoid backover incidents, saving lives in the process.

Reversing in a car, truck or other type of vehicle is always a challenging maneuver, as visibility is reduced and controls are less intuitive. While checking mirrors and looking backward can help, rearview cameras provide a more complete view of the space behind a vehicle. Commonly available for custom installation on larger vehicles like tractor trailers, commercial trucks and campers, backup cameras have become more popular as a pre-installed feature on automobiles in the past decade.

“This new mandate will help put an invaluable tool into automobiles across the country,” said attorney Hayslett. “Drivers need to remember, however, that the best way to avoid an accident is to stay aware of their surroundings whenever they’re behind the wheel and double check all mirrors as well as the camera. Drivers cannot just rely on one tool.”

According to the new rule, the backup cameras on vehicles manufactured on or after May 2018 will be required to meet certain visibility standards as established by the department. For instance, the rear-view camera must capture a 10-foot by 20-foot area field of view behind the vehicle at all times.

According to the NHTSA, backup accidents are responsible for approximately 200 deaths and 15,000 injuries annually. 31 percent of fatal backover accidents each year involve children under the age of five. While more and more manufacturers are already offering vehicles with backup cameras installed, the new NHTSA rules doesn’t go into effect for another four years.

“It’s imperative to be cautious around any moving vehicle.” said Hayslett. “Parents in particular should take care to watch their children and make sure they aren’t at risk by playing behind a vehicle that could back into or over them. And even with these extra driving aids, drivers should always remain attentive and never drive distracted, whether on the road, in a parking lot, or even in a private driveway.”

This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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MaryAnn Bounacos

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