Senator Blumenthal Urges the NHTSA to Solve the Problem of Children Being Hit by SUVs
According to a news report published on autoblog.com, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal addressed the danger of children being hit by sport utility vehicles.
Senator Blumenthal serves on the committee that oversees NHTSA. Blumenthal stated that the increasing size of SUVs is creating larger blind spots, which makes some kids difficult to see above the hood, leading to increased pedestrian strikes. In the past, Congress required backup cameras to be installed on new vehicles to prevent rear backover crashes. However, Blumenthal reports that there is "a similar, simple solution of front visibility standards that could help prevent these deaths."
Senator Blumenthal is asking NHTSA to release crash data to understand the actual scope of "frontovers" and the actions that can be taken to stop these tragic happenings. Frontover collisions are crashes in which the front of a vehicle drives over a pedestrian, usually a small child. Some auto manufacturers installed warning alerts, cameras, or radar to warn drivers of the presence of a pedestrian near the front of an SUV while starting the vehicle.
In recent decades, SUV sales have spiked, while sedan sales have declined. The Environmental Protection Agency reported that SUVs accounted for more than 50% of all U.S. auto production in 2020. Auto manufacturers are building trucks and SUVs that have higher hoods.
In 2019, nearly 1,100 children were killed in traffic crashes, 177 children were killed in pedestrian crashes, and 48 children were killed in bicycle collisions, according to NHTSA data. NHTSA has not immediately commented on the issue.
In May, NHTSA reported that U.S. traffic deaths leaped by 10.5% in 2021 to nearly 43,000, the highest amount of fatalities on American roads since 2005. This annual increase in traffic fatalities is the highest its been since NHTSA started collecting fatal accident statistics.
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