A teen male, 16, of Scripps Ranch, was backed over by a car when he was just 14 months old. The young man is a paraplegic but has since learned to function as a busy, active adult with aid from his guide dog and wheelchair.

His story comes to the NHTSA after the organization announced it would take public input for implementing legislation passed in 2008 that would standardize the final rule for rear visibility cameras.

“I came to Washington from my hometown of San Diego to talk to you about how important and how absolutely necessary complete rear visibility is in all automobiles,” he says. “My mom and I had very little money and didn’t own a car so we walked everywhere. This [particular] Sunday changed our lives.”

The young man continued to tell the NHTSA that as he and his mother walked home that Sunday afternoon, a driver suddenly backed out and completely ran him over, an infant at just 14 months.

The then-toddler was flown by Life Flight to a local children’s hospital for immediate surgery. Tragically, he sustained a spinal cord injury and was unable to move his body from the neck down. Incredibly, the police report listed the injury as a minor scalp laceration and ticketed the driver for unsafe backing.

Serious injuries that cause a lifetime of care

The teen told the NHTSA that his spinal cord injury goes well beyond the inability to walk. He is unable to dress, shower, or use the restroom without assistance and his blood pressure spikes daily, a medical emergency that required daily supervision. And because of his injury, he is more motivated than ever to share his story with the public in an effort to require rearview cameras.

“I survived an accident that many other children didn’t. It would be foolish of me to complain. There isn’t one moment of my day that isn’t affected by my injury, but I feel blessed for this life.” he says.

If this story has touched you, as it did for us, please take a moment to contact the NHTSA and let them know you support standardized rearview cameras.

How do I prepare and submit a letter of support?

Your comments must be written, and in English. To ensure that your comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162 in your comments. Comments may not be more than 15 pages long but you may attach necessary additional documents to your comments. There is no limit on the length of the attachments.

Where do I submit my letter of support?

Comments may be submitted to the docket electronically by logging onto the Docket Management System website at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. You may also submit two copies of your comments, including the attachments by mail to:

Docket Management Facility

U.S. Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140

Washington, D.C. 20590-0001

About the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC

Since 1992, San Diego personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC have been fighting for the people. Michael Pines, founder, is an advocate for vehicle safety and accident prevention. If you have been injured in a car accident, or if your child has been injured, please contact us at 1-858-551-2090 for a free legal consultation – or, contact us online now.

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