Did we need back-up cameras back in the day?

I'm a fan of the television series Mad Men.

Set in the 1960s, it centers on a group of advertising executives' trials and tribulations. I noticed their trials never include backing the car over the kids or grandparents.

I grew up in the 1970's and 1980's. I don't recall any particular story of someone backing over someone, although I'm sure it happened.

Now U.S. auto-safety regulators want backup cameras on all new vehicles by 2014 to prevent drivers from backing over pedestrians. They say 292 people a year die from back-over accidents -- most of them children or elderly folks.

It is a serious problem.

But is the solution adding more technology and cost to a vehicle?

I've driven vehicles with the back-up camera feature. It's cool, sure, but it's also distracting. I wonder if it might also offer a false sense of security. Why look back if you've been regularly using a camera? What happens when you don't have a camera?

Accidents will always happen, but maybe the answer lies in improved drivers' education.

Or perhaps it's what my generation's parents already knew: Pay attention.

Don't talk on your cell phone, fiddle with your iPod, put on your make-up or sip coffee when moving behind the wheel.

And, most importantly, know where the kids are.

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