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Backup car accidents preventable, policies remain unchanged

When a person goes to pick out a new car, they have many safety options to choose from. These options don't come standard on many vehicles, but could help prevent serious car accidents. Backup cameras, backup sensors, lane-departure warning and prevention systems, and cars that can autonomously stop themselves seem like the way of the near future.

In fact, one particular safety feature should have already been a way of the past, but delays have prevented regulations from being put in place that would have mandated it. Backup cameras or backup sensors were supposed to be mandated in new cars, after an act of Congress in 2007 that required the Department of Transportation to put a rule in place requiring this technology in new vehicles.

However, more than two years after the rule requiring manufacturers to install these sensors in new cars, no such regulation has been put in place. While it is extremely important for drivers to be aware of what is going on near their vehicle at all times, this technology could hopefully save many lives.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 228 people die each year in light-vehicle backup accidents. Many of them are children under the age of 5 of over the age of 70. As a result of this delay, a group of people have sued the Obama administration to try to get regulations implemented. Had the regulation been implemented by the 2011 deadline, backup cameras and sensors would have been standard for all 2014 model vehicles.

Source: USA Today, "Administration sued over backup camera delay," Fred Meier and Chris Woodyard, Sept. 26, 2012

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