The New York Times reported yesterday that Federal regulators plan to announce later this week that automakers will be required to install rearview cameras in all vehicles by 2014.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is making this push to protect the 34 percent of U.S. vehicle related child fatalities by backovers. The NY Times even went so far as to report that on average, two children are killed and 50 are injured every week due to reversing accidents.
Regulators, backed by government statistics, said that up to 112 deaths and 8,000 injuries could be eliminated each year by including rearview cameras which would illuminate the blind-spot behind a vehicle.
The NY Times reported that Clarence Ditlow, executive director for the Center for Auto Safety in Washington said, “In terms of absolute numbers of lives saved, it certainly isn’t the highest, but in terms of emotional tragedy, backover deaths are some of the worst imaginable. When you have a parent that kills a child in an incident that’s utterly avoidable, they don’t ever forget it.”
Honda, along with a few other car manufacturers, have already started to build cars which include standard rearview cameras in anticipation for the 2014 ruling, but in a preliminary version of the ruling that was circulated for public comment, regulators predicted that adding rearview cameras to every vehicle will cost car manufacturers more than $2.7 billion a year, which translates to roughly $200 per vehicle.
This increased cost of production is expected to be passed to the buyer in the form of higher vehicle prices. A standard Honda Accord LX starts at $21,380, while the EX-L, which features the rearview camera, starts at $29,755, an increase of over $8,300.
The NY Times did, however, report that Honda has revamped its CR-V Crossover vehicle to include a rearview camera as standard equipment, rather than the 2011 model which cost consumers an additional $7,000 if they wanted the navigation system.