The final rule requires all vehicles less than 10,000 pounds, including buses and trucks, manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, to come equipped with rear visibility technology that expands the field of view to enable the driver of a motor vehicle to detect areas behind the vehicle to reduce death and injury resulting from backover incidents. The field of view must include a 10-by-20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. The system must also meet other requirements including image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation.
"Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur," said NHTSA acting administrator David Friedman. "We're already recommending this kind of life-saving technology through our NCAP program and encouraging consumers to consider it when buying cars today."
On average, there are 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year caused by backover crashes. NHTSA has found that children under five years old account for 31 percent of backover fatalities each year, and adults 70 years of age and older account for 26 percent.
NHTSA states that it took time on this regulation to ensure that the policy was right and make the rule flexible and achievable. The agency says many companies are installing rear visibility systems on their own anyway because of consumer demand. Including vehicles that already have systems installed, NHTSA estimates that 58 to 69 lives are expected to be saved each year once the entire on-road vehicle fleet is equipped with rear visibility systems meeting the requirements of the final rule.