Auto industry failing to shrink motorist blind spots

In recent years, safety experts, federal regulators and even the auto industry have expressed increasing concerns about the number of pedestrian and cyclist accidents occurring in the U.S. As roads and sidewalks become crowded with motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike, it has become more important than ever that all travelers remain aware of those around them. When travelers cannot see each other clearly, accidents occur.

Unfortunately, it seems as if the auto industry is now home to potentially negligent manufacturers who are not only failing to reduce motorists’ blind spots in new vehicle models, they are actually making them bigger. In an effort to improve safety ratings in other areas, some auto manufacturers have created 2014 vehicle models that have wider blind spots than older and seemingly less safe models.

When a motorist cannot detect movement in his or her blind spot, that motorist may unintentionally collide with pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles present in the space marked by the blind spot. It is thus imperative that blind spots are reduced as much as is possible or that alternative technology is installed to help drivers see activity in their blind spots on a specialized screen.

Some auto manufacturers are compensating for wider blind spots by installing blind spot and back-up cameras designed to allow drivers to visualize movement in their blind spots. However, other auto manufacturers have made this technology optional. It is possible that pedestrians and cyclists will pay the ultimate price for wider blind spots in newer vehicle models that are not installed with necessary assistive technology.

Source: The Detroit News, “Some new vehicles have bigger blind spots,” Melissa Burden, Aug. 27, 2013

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