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Road Safety 101: What You Need To Know About Back-Up Cameras

Back up cameras are among the safety features that auto manufacturers are now installing as standard equipment in many newer model vehicles to give drivers an extra set of eyes. With back up cameras, the hope is that countless catastrophic car accidents and fatal collisions will be avoided.

According to Kidsandcars.org, more than 50 children each week are injured in backup accidents. Of these, 48 require hospitalization for their injuries and two are killed. The majority of the victims are between 12 and 23 months of age. Sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks have the largest blind spots and are involve in more back over accidents than automobiles. Even more tragic is the fact that in at least 70 percent of the incidents, a parent or close relative was behind the wheel when the accident occurred.

While back up cameras may help prevent collisions causing serious injury or death, they are not a substitute for a driver turning their head to check behind the vehicle and looking in the read view mirrors. Drivers should be aware of both the advantages and limitations of back up cameras.

Benefits of Rearview Car Cameras

A driver cannot simply rely on his or her rearview mirror, side-view mirrors and line-of-sight to spot potential hazards when backing up a vehicle. Each vehicle has a blind zone at the rear, in which people and objects can be hidden from the driver’s view. Rearview cameras can be used to help minimize the blind zone and allow a driver to see objects behind the vehicle more clearly, and thus avoid collisions with objects or people behind the vehicle.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that rearview cameras in cars are actually more effective than parking sensors at helping drivers avoid a collision with objects when moving in reverse.

Rearview car cameras can also be used to help drivers back out of a tight spot, or parallel park. Countless collisions can be avoided by giving drivers this added level of visibility. By May of 2018, all new vehicles weighing under 10,000 pounds will be required to provide rear visibility technology as a standard feature.

Limits of Using Back-Up Cameras

One concern about the new technology is that drivers will become overly reliant on back up cameras to the point that they may not take other necessary precautions to avoid a serious accident. Some of the flaws of using back up cameras include:

  • Display screens tend to be small, so often only larger objects are easy to spot. Drivers must still physically look back over their shoulder to confirm that no objects are visible outside the camera’s viewing area.
  • Drivers may become too reliant on back-up cameras to the point that they neglect to use rear and side-view mirrors, and shoulder checking before moving the vehicle.
  • Views from vehicle to vehicle will vary greatly depending on several factors. Some cameras are designed to give drivers a 180-degree view, while others are restricted to about 130-degree view. Drivers cannot make assumptions that all objects will be visible with a back-up camera.
  • In an accident, drivers may blame the technology rather than realizing it was their own actions that led to the accident.

Certain auto manufacturers are now offering vehicles equipped with “around view” systems. These systems have cameras all around the vehicle that allow drivers to see potential hazards from almost any angle.

Even with back-up cameras and other accident-avoidance features, it is important that drivers remain vigilant at all times. If you have been in a car accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, contact Goodman Acker at once. Our firm is considered to be “Michigan’s Most Trusted,” and we take pride in providing our clients with the experienced legal representation they need to seek the most favorable outcome in a car accident case.

Call a Detroit car accident attorney at our office for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can be reached at (248) 793-2010.