NHTSA says it's adding rearview video systems to its list of recommended features under its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to push automakers and consumers alike to push for these safety improvements.

The addition to the list of Recommended Advanced Technology Features was made to encourage improved rearview visibility for the nation's motor vehicle fleet and help prevent backover accidents while NHTSA researches implementation of a rear visibility rule.

"As we’ve seen with other features in the past, adding rearview video systems to our list of recommended safety features will encourage both automakers and consumers to consider more vehicles that offer this important technology," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The agency says it will begin to identify on SaferCar.govvehicle models that have rearview video systems. Next, as soon as the agency is able to verify that the vehicle model has a rearview video system meeting certain basic criteria, the agency will recognize those vehicle models as having this Recommended Advanced Technology Feature on www.safercar.gov. In order to be included as a Recommended Advanced Technology Feature, the rearview image must:
?Cover the 20-foot by 10-foot zone directly behind the vehicle;
?Be displayed within two seconds after the reverse direction is selected; and
?Be large enough to enable the driver to make judgments about the objects in the image and avoid a crash with those objects.

Rearview video systems will replace Electronic Stability Control as a Recommended Advanced Technology Feature on www.safercar.gov, as the latter technology is now standard on all new vehicles. Forward collision warning (FCW) and lane departure warning (LDW) systems will continue to be featured on the site.

Since NHTSA began promoting these technologies, automakers have responded by integrating FCW and LDW into their fleets. LDW systems were available in 51 vehicles in model year 2011, 69 vehicles in model year 2012 and are now available in 124 vehicles in model year 2013. FCW systems were available in 50 vehicles in model year 2011, 79 vehicles in model year 2012 and are now available in 167 vehicles in model year 2013.