KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The recent deaths of two toddlers in the Kansas City area, struck by vehicles backing up in separate incidents, has many people wondering how something so tragic could have happened. Data shows that each week in the United States, 48 children are hurt each week and end up in the hospital due to being backed over by a vehicle. Even worse, two children each week die from their injuries. Amber Rollins from Kids in Cars joined us to talk about the dangers of the blind spot around your vehicle.
· Most drivers are not aware of the large and very dangerous blindzone that exists behind ALL vehicles. EVERY vehicle has a blindzone both in front of and behind the vehicle.
· Most backovers occur in driveways and parking lots.
· A vehicle’s blindzone can be anywhere from 20-60 feet behind the vehicle. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blindzone.
· Children are quick and curious. It only takes a split second for them the get into the blindzone behind a vehicle where they cannot be seen by the driver.
· Many times, children sneak out of the home unnoticed and get into the path of a moving vehicle in the driveway.
· Young children are not capable of comprehending the danger of a slow moving vehicle and the driver simply cannot avoid hitting something that they cannot see.
On average, every week in the US, 50 children are backed over by vehicles, 48 of those children ends up in hospital emergency rooms and 2 die. So far in 2012, at least 53 children have died after being backed over. The most recent 2 backover fatalities happened right here in Kansas City in the past week.
· KidsAndCars.org recommends retrofitting vehicles with a back-up camera. Back-up cameras can be purchased at auto parts shops for as little as $100. A very small price to pay for the life of a child.
· Drivers should always walk completely around their vehicle before moving it and check the area for children.
· Parents should always make sure that children are closely supervised by another adult before moving a vehicle.
· Teach children never to play in the driveway and to always hold the hand of an adult in parking lots.
Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act
Vehicles have been made for over 100 years, but there has never been a regulation on what a driver must be able to see when backing up their vehicle.
After years of hard work, it took an act of congress in order to make this important regulation a reality.
In 2008 the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act was signed into law by President Bush requiring a rear visibility standard on all vehicles sold or leased in the US.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for coming up with the rule on what auto makers will have to do in order to meet this standard. In other words, how will vehicles have to be changed in order for drivers to be able to see what is behind them when backing up.
The announcement of the final rule by NHTSA has been delayed several times, but is set to be announced on December 31, 2012.
KidsAndCars.org is not sure exactly what the final rule will require, but we are hopeful that it will require all vehicles to come equipped with a back-up camera.