Technology's great; drivers need work
The writer is a trauma surgeon and a motor vehicle safety advocate.
To the Editor:
A recent article covers the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's effort to mandate back-up cameras in light vehicles as part of a campaign against blind spots ("Back-up camera mandate could cover '14 models," Dec. 10).
This technology is projected to raise industry costs by as much as $2.7 billion. NHTSA estimates back-up accidents involving light vehicles annually kill 288 people and injure 17,000.
For too long, NHTSA has focused on making motor vehicles safer and ignored driver behavior.
In 2011, NHTSA reports, there were 9,878 fatalities in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers.
In 2010, 3,267 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers, and an estimated 416,000 were injured.
I believe NHTSA's efforts and our tax dollars should be spent where they will have the greatest impact on saving lives.
A policy of continued technology escalation simply ignores the most dangerous aspect of the motor vehicle, the driver.
Tax dollars should be spent on altering American drivers' behavior; then we will see a real reduction in fatalities and injuries.