Making roads safe

Most of the time we only think about safety technology in cars when it relates to keeping the occupants safe. From the now standard Anti-lock Braking System or air bags, to the much higher end night vision cameras or blind spot monitors. Car safety technology has for a long time protected the driver and passengers inside — until now.

The United States has not set a new precedent, passing what is called the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2008, the preliminary version of which called for auto makers to gradually include backup cameras in cars.

At least 10 per cent of their cars would include cameras by the end of 2012, followed by 40 per cent in 2013 and 100 per cent by 2014.

The law would help eliminate the blind spot behind vehicles that results in about 300 fatalities and 18,000 injuries a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. About 44 per cent of the fatalities involve children under the age of five as they are impossible to see via the standard rearview and side mirrors.

It’s also believed that the law will boost aftermarket backup camera sales, by raising awareness for the product. And although the law doesn’t state that all cars will have to have back up cameras, some activist do believe this should be case.

But some car manufactures are already ahead of the game, making not only back up cameras standard, but also radar activated braking which will detect anything not only in the view of the camera but also in left and right blind spots just outside the view of the camera.

This is a very good idea, as safety is often overlooked and safety in these type of cases is definitely overlooked, but with an estimated 33 deaths each week as well as 16,170 injuries per week in driveways and parking lots in the US alone, one could only imagine what the world wide numbers are, and hope that more countries come on board with this type of thinking.

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