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Blind spots in front of SUVs and trucks can lead to fatal accidents. Experts note that children are often the victims

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Hudson Foshee was a bright 4-year-old boy who died in a preventable accident when his mother, Jackie, pulled into their driveway in January 2019. She thinks her son ran to get the mail, but she said from inside her full-size SUV, she never saw him.

“I was running all over the place looking for him,” Jackie Foshee said. “And then I looked under the car and there he was.”

Vehicles have a blind spot directly in front of the hood that increases with the size of the vehicle.

Americans’ shift to larger trucks and SUVs comes as the number of deaths from these head-on crashes has more than doubled in five years, with more than 500 deaths in 2020, according to the Department of Transportation. Experts say that young children are often the victims.

Consumer Reports tested the front blind spots of 15 vehicles, ranging from three feet for a small sports car to 15 feet for a full-size pickup truck.

The bigger the car, the bigger the blind spot.

The automakers told CBS News that “safety is a top priority” and “vehicles continue to become even safer as automakers … test, develop and implement new safety technologies.”

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, is proposing legislation to make front-facing cameras and collision avoidance sensors standard. The technology already exists, but the camera is often an expensive addition. This is similar to the reversing cameras that are required on all new cars from 2018 onwards.

“Security shouldn’t be a premium feature,” Blumenthal said. “It should be standard, like airbags and seat belts.”

Jackie Foshee agrees and hopes her family’s tragedy will help make cars safer.

“I would never want another parent to experience this,” she said. – It’s terrible.

Safety experts and the auto industry recommend walking around the car before getting into it if your car doesn’t have a front-facing camera.


Full statements from automakers:

Alliance for Automotive Innovation:

“Safety is the top priority of the automotive industry. Vehicles continue to become even safer as automakers comprehensively test, develop and implement new safety technologies that can help save lives and prevent injuries. While these innovations can make driving safer, the industry has always encouraged drivers to take a few extra seconds to go around their vehicle for a final check before driving it.”

General Motors:

The safety of our customers and everyone they are on the road with is of the utmost importance to GM. Our responsibility is to make all of our vehicles as safe as possible, including the full-size trucks and SUVs that customers depend on for useful features and functions, often to support their work or family transportation needs. That’s why active safety technologies are critical to GM’s future vision of zero accidents. When the driver is approaching an object, there are several forward detection features that are designed to warn and even apply the brakes and stop the car. Our light-duty pickups and full-size SUVs come standard with front pedestrian braking and HD Surround Vision systems available or standard on most trim levels. We encourage drivers of all vehicles to play an active role in ensuring safety by always knowing and inspecting vehicles before driving them.

These features constantly monitor the vehicle’s surroundings, helping to protect our customers and others from all perspectives. In a study we conducted last year with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, we found that some of these features have a significant impact on preventing certain types of crashes, and that the more automated the system, the greater the benefits.

Select standard safety features on the Cadillac Escalade included in history:

1. High definition rear view camera

2. HD 3D camera – 2 megapixels

3. Headlight alignment

4. Braking of the pedestrian in front

5. Detection of pedestrians behind

6. IntelliBeam, automatic high beam assist

7. Head-on collision warning

8. Seat with safety alarm

9. Automatic emergency braking

10. Rainsense wipers

11. Automatic switching on of headlights

12. Front and rear parking assistance system

13. Vehicle health monitoring system

14. OnStar

15. Passive Entry Passive Start (PEPS)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/suv-blind-zone-deaths-consumer-reports-safety/

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