Car accidents come in many forms, but while sometimes they are essentially impossible to avoid, on other occasions they are very much preventable. As such, automakers have devoted lots of time and energy to technology that would be able to help overcome some of these preventable car accidents. One that many people have found useful is rear-view technology.

This kind of technology involves a small camera mounted somewhere on a vehicle, facing backward. The camera provides a view on a small monitor of what a driver can’t see in his or her blind spot as the vehicles backs up. This enables drivers to avoid potentially injurious or fatal accidents — particularly to children who might be caught behind a vehicle and don’t move in time.

In fact, this sort of accident is relatively common. On average around the country, there are about 15,000 injuries and more than 200 fatalities from backup accidents. Among the victims, about 30 percent are children under age 5, while about 25 percent are elderly people over age 70.

While many cars have this technology already, it is not yet required for new vehicles. As of 2012, less than half of new vehicles had the technology as standard, and another one-quarter had it as optional equipment. However, that is about to change. Starting in May 2018, new cars and trucks under 10,000 pounds must have the technology. The federal government estimates that it could prevent more than 1,100 injuries per year and as many as 15 deaths annually.

Source: Star Tribune, “NHTSA issues final ruling that requires rearview technology in new vehicles by 2018,” Stacy A. Anderson, March 31, 2014