Among the myriad electronic safety features on newer automobiles, back-up cameras might be the most promising in reducing reverse-driving auto accidents. In addition to helping drivers parallel park, they also expand the visibility of objects behind a vehicle. Approximately 292 people, mostly children and the elderly, are killed each year by cars backing into them.
Studying Back-Up Cameras & Parking Sensors
A recent study found that back-up cameras prevent more accidents than parking sensors and even prevented more accidents than sensors and cameras combined. In a controlled study with a Chevy Equinox (chosen because it is a mid-size car with average size blind spots), drivers with a rearview camera had the fewest collisions at 56 percent. Parking sensors helped 1 out of 16 drivers and drivers with both the sensors and the cameras had a 75 percent collision rate. Drivers with neither sensors nor cameras had a 100 percent collision rate. Researchers believe the parking sensors gave drivers a false sense of security and so they paid less attention to the back-up camera.
SUVs and pickup trucks have the biggest blind spots and are involved in more back-up accidents than cars (the smaller the car, the better the visibility). Back-up cameras reduced blind spots by approximately 90 percent. However, lighting and weather can largely impact the effectiveness of the camera. In the study, if an object was in the shade, almost all the drivers still hit it while looking at the back-up camera.
In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) added rearview cameras to a list of recommended features in its vehicle safety ratings. The NHTSA is also considering requiring back-up cameras on all new cars. Experts are recommending automatic rear breaking technology in combination with back-up cameras.
But in the meantime, a back-up camera can help you avoid accidents. However, you cannot always control or prevent another’s negligence. If you are injured in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our car accident attorneys can help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today.