Small children, low walls, bikes, and much more are behind-the-vehicle hazards that every driver must face when backing up a vehicle. At our Phoenix personal injury law firm we are all too familiar with car accidents caused by vehicular blind spots. Rear view cameras are drastically improving visibility of the otherwise blind spot directly behind the vehicle. These camera systems are reducing the number of low-speed, back-over fatalities, particularly in the case of small children. Beginning in 2016 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require rear view cameras in all passenger vehicles, with full compliance by 2018.
A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety tested the increased visibility in a range of vehicles from a variety of manufacturers. The study found that visibility increased from 36 percent improvement in sedans to 75 percent in hatchbacks. The average increase was 46 percent in the tested vehicles with large trucks and SUV's recording in the mid-range.
While the study found that visibility was greatly improved, the camera systems did not show the entire space behind the vehicle. It is still important to use a perimeter check prior to getting into the vehicle as well as checking mirrors before backing up.
Another caveat of rear view cameras is with weather changes, rain or snow for instance, the lens can become blurred or obstructed. Wiping the camera prior to getting in the vehicle is recommended as a good habit.
For AAA's full article visit the AAA Foundations website.