Blind spots in front of SUVs and trucks can lead to fatal accidents. The victims are often children, experts say

Hudson Foschi was a lively 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 said that through the full SUV size, she never saw him.

“I was kind of, like, running all over the place and finding him,” Jackie Foschi said. “And then I looked under the car and there it was.”

The vehicles have a blind spot right in front of the hood that grows with the size of the car.

Americans’ shift to larger trucks and SUVs comes as deaths from these frontal crashes more than doubled in five years, according to the Department of Transportation, killing more than 500 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 15 feet for a full-size pickup.

The bigger the car, the bigger the blind zone.

The automakers told CBS News that “safety is a top priority” and “vehicles continue to become even safer as automakers … test, develop and incorporate 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 add-on. They are similar to the backup cameras required on all new vehicles from 2018.

“Security should not be a premium feature,” Blumenthal said. “They should be standard 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 is terrible.”

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

The full statements from the automakers:

Alliance for Automotive Innovation:

“Safety is the automotive industry’s top priority. Vehicles continue to become even safer as automakers test, develop and incorporate 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 vehicle for a final check before operating it.”

General Motors:

Safety for 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 rely on for the utility and features they provide, 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. As a driver approaches an object, there are several forward detection features 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 any vehicles to take an active role in safety by always being aware and checking around vehicles before operating them.

These features continuously monitor the vehicle’s environment, helping to protect our customers and others in all respects. 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 accidents, and that the more automated the system, the greater the benefits.

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

1. High Definition Rear View Camera

2. HD Surround Vision Camera – 2 Megapixels

3. Headlight leveling

4. Pedestrian front braking

5. Rear pedestrian detection

6. IntelliBeam, automatic high beam assist

7. Crash warning

8. Safety warning seat

9. Automatic emergency braking

10. Rainsense wipers

11. Auto On headlights

12. Front and rear parking assist system

13. Vehicle Health Monitoring System

14. OnStar

15. Passive Input Passive Start (PEPS)

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