Tragically, backover accidents claim approximately 292 lives every year with the majority either under the age of five or over the age of seventy. That society's most vulnerable are victimized by these incidents requires greater vigilance and the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration has embarked on a vigorous effort to combat wrongful death and injury in backup collsions.

It is estimated that more than eighteen thousand injuries from backover incidents occur every year. Pickup trucks and SUVs are involved in a larger than expected proportion of deadly crashes. Obviously this is function of those particular vehicles size and configuration.

Consequently a large part of NHTSA's focus has been on evaluating how to combat " rear blind zones." The obvous suggestions, rear cameras, detection systems and mirrors have been evaluated and public input has been sought.

The origin of this inquiry is the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety act of 2007. That law stemmed from a tragic incident in New Jersey where Greg Gulbransen backed over and killed his two-year old son.

While this topic will be examined in greater detail in our ongoing examination of wrongful death in Maryland, is is clear that the greater the height and width of a vehicle the less the overall rear visibilty. The cost of retrofitting vehicles with rear cameras and detection systems is regarded as prohibitive but targeting the vehicles with the most dangerous propensities, suvs and large pickups, may be necessary.
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