NHTSA estimates that 114 pedestrians are killed annually in backing fatalities involving straight trucks over 10,000 pounds. Although statistics are much higher for cars and light trucks, the agency says the relative risk is greatest for the larger vehicles because visibility is significantly reduced.
The proposal would cover straight trucks, including step-vans and walk-in delivery trucks, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 to 26,000 pounds. NHTSA says it would specify performance standards, such as the required target detection area, target characteristics, and acceptable driver information (audible alarms, for instance), and has asked for public comment on standards for cross-view mirrors as well as other detection systems such as video systems.
Additional information, including NHTSA’s questions for public comment, can be found in the Nov. 27 Federal Register at www.nara.gov/fedreg. Comments are due January 26, 2001 and must refer to Docket No. NHTSA 2000-7967, Notice 1.