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Protecting your assets with car insurance

April 2, 2014

Automobile manufacturers continue to make safer products for consumers, but that doesn't mean car accidents are a thing of the past. While the nation's traffic deaths dropped 4.2 percent during the first half of 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 15,470 people died in all forms of motor vehicle crashes from January 2013 through the end of June.

NBC News reported that there had been worries the vehicular fatality rate would surge as the U.S. economy recovers, a traditional pattern that sees more Americans taking to the road during dangerous rush-hour periods due to better employment opportunities. But that hasn't been the case, evident by the decline in traffic-related deaths.

Protect your assets with the right car insurance policy.
Government and industry officials believe that some of the results have been spurred by improved passive safety systems in vehicles, such as better overall design and improved airbags. New technologies are playing a role, like electronic stability controls, which is now required in all new vehicles.

Advanced collision systems are also starting to gain steam, and more states are now cracking down on drunken and distracted driving, such as using a cell phone.

While all these measures are helping to reduce traffic accidents, consumers still need to consider covering all of their assets with the best auto insurance policies they can afford. People wanting the best coverage plan possible should consider shopping for a personal injury plan using SelectQuote's comparison shopping service.

Making automobiles safer

The NHTSA recently issued a final rule requiring rear-visibility technology in all new vehicles lighter than 10,000 pounds. This new rule, which is to be implemented by all car manufacturers by May 2018, improves the safety of vehicles by protecting against serious injuries caused by backover accidents.

“Safety is our highest priority, and we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of backover accidents—our children and seniors,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “As a father, I can only imagine how heart wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today's rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents.”?

What is a backover accident?

A backover accident is when a driver backs their car out of a driveway or parking space, and unbeknownst to them, runs over a pedestrian walking behind them. According to KidsandCars.org, there are thousands of children killed or injured every year by this type of incident.

The NHTSA reported there are an average of 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year caused by backover crashes. The group found that children younger than 5 account for 31 percent of backover fatalities each year, and adults 70 and older account for 26 percent.

The rule will see that all vehicles lighter than 10,000 pounds be equipped with rear visibility technology that boosts the field of view for the driver. Many of these systems beep to let the driver know they are detecting something in their path. The field of view must include a 10-by-20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. Many industry experts believe that this will reduce the death and injury rate stemming from backover accidents.

“Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur,” said David Friedman, NHTSA acting administrator. “We're already recommending this kind of life-saving technology through our NCAP program and encouraging consumers to consider it when buying cars today.”