All vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4,500 kilos) sold in the United States must be equipped with rear visibility technology by the year 2018 in order to reduce the number of backover accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, said.

The new rule says that for all automobiles of less than 10,000 pounds (4,500 kilos), "the field of view must include a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle," the regulatory agency said.

"Safety is our highest priority, and we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of backover accidents - our children and seniors," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

U.S. authorities estimate that backover crashes take an average of 210 lives and injure some 15,000 people a year, of whom 31 percent are tots less than 5 years old, while 26 percent are above age 70.

The NHTSA originally planned to put the new rule into effect in mid-2014, but later asked for more time to finalize the details.

According to the federal regulatory agency, the cost to the industry will be an additional $200 per auto.

However, it said that many manufacturers are already including that technology due to growing consumer demand. EFE