Blind areas in front of SUVs and trucks can lead to fatal collisions. Victims are often children, experts say

Hudson Foschi was a dynamic 4-year-old 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 that from inside her full-size SUV, she’s never seen it.

“I was kind of running around looking for him,” Jackie Foschi said. “And then I looked under the car and there he was.”

Vehicles have a blind area directly in front of the hood which expands with the size of the car.

Americans’ shift to large trucks and SUVs comes as fatalities from these frontal collisions have more than doubled in five years, the Department of Transportation says, killing more than 500 people in 2020. Experts say the victims are often young children.

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

The larger the car, the larger the blind area.

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

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, is proposing legislation to standardize front-facing cameras and collision avoidance sensors. The technology already exists, but the camera is often an expensive accessory. It’s similar to the reversing cameras which are required in all new vehicles since 2018.

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

Jackie Foschi agrees and hopes her family’s tragedy can help make cars safer.

“I would never want another parent to go through this,” she said. “It’s awful.”

Security experts and the automotive industry recommend walking around the car before getting in if you don’t have a forward-facing camera in your vehicle.

Complete declarations of the car manufacturers:

Automotive Innovation Alliance:

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

General Engines:

The safety of our customers and anyone they share the road with is paramount 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 the utility and functionality they provide, often to meet their business or family transportation needs. That’s why active safety technologies are essential to GM’s future vision of zero accidents. When a driver approaches an object, several forward sensing features are designed to alert and even apply the brakes and stop the vehicle. Our light-duty pickups and full-size SUVs come standard with front pedestrian braking and HD Surround Vision camera systems are available or standard on most trim levels. We encourage drivers of all vehicles to take an active role in safety by always being aware and checking around vehicles before using them.

These features constantly monitor the vehicle’s environment, helping to protect our customers and others from every perspective. In a study we did 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 Cadillac Escalade safety features included in the story:

1. High definition rear view camera

2. HD Surround View Camera – 2 Megapixels

3. Headlamp upgrade

4. Front pedestrian braking

5. Rear Pedestrian Detection

6. IntelliBeam, automatic high beam assist

7. Forward Collision Warning

8. Safety alert seat

9. Automatic emergency braking

10. Rainsense wipers

11. Automatic headlights

12. Front and rear parking aid

13. Vehicle health monitoring system

14. On Star

15. Passive Entry Passive Start (PEPS)

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