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• The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for issuing vehicle safety standards.
• NHTSA has issued a new rule that all cars and light trucks must have rearview cameras starting in 2018.
• The primary purpose of this rule is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries associated with back-up accidents.

Overview of NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation with the aim to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes by enforcing vehicle safety performance standards.

Rearview Camera Rules

In order to further improve safety, NHTSA recently issued a new rule that all cars and light trucks must have rearview cameras installed beginning in 2018. This new requirement will help drivers better detect objects behind their vehicles when backing up, reducing the number of deaths and injuries related to back-up accidents.

Benefits of Rearview Cameras

Rearview cameras are proven to be effective at reducing backup collisions, as they provide drivers with a wider view than what can be seen from mirrors alone. Additionally, research conducted by NHTSA suggests that these types of systems can reduce blind zone crashes by up to 46 percent. In addition to saving lives and preventing serious injuries, installation of rearview cameras would also save billions in property damage every year.

Requirements for Rearview Cameras

The new rules set forth requirements for how the rearview camera system must operate and display information on the interior mirror or center stack display screen. For example, there must be sufficient visibility range so that objects located directly behind a car can be detected at least 10 feet away from its bumper; there must also be an audible alert when something is detected in a vehicle’s blind zone; and finally, the image displayed on the monitor should not be obscured or blocked by any other object or feature inside the vehicle itself.


The goal of this new rule issued by NHTSA is ultimately to decrease fatalities caused by vehicles backing up into people or objects due to limited visibility from mirrors alone. By mandating rearview cameras starting in 2018, drivers will now have an improved view when reversing vehicles which could potentially save countless lives each year while also reducing costly property damage associated with back-up collisions .

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