It’s Official: Rearview Backup Cameras Save Lives

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It’s something we’ve been saying for some time now, and AAA has confirmed this with a recent press release: rearview backup cameras save lives. In testing conducted by AAA, cameras improved visibility an average of 46 percent. The studies were created to highlight the importance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s mandate all vehicles feature a rearview camera by May 2018.

Here’s a look at AAA’s study, and why you should have a rearview backup camera installed in your vehicle, whether it’s brand new or a decade old.

The Study

AAA turned to 11 different manufacturers and tested 17 of their vehicles that featured both aftermarket and factory camera systems. It wasn’t restrictive to body style – it was all tested, from sedan to SUV. They found that even hatchbacks saw an improvement in visibility – 75 percent improved visibility, versus 36 percent improved visibility in sedans. SUVs and larger trucks scored right in the middle of the two. The research was conducted alongside the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center.

According to the press release, this study was conducted with Halloween in mind. The company’s managing director of Automotive Engineering, John Nielsen, points out that these rearview camera systems were designed to protect small children you might not otherwise see when you’re backing out of your driveway, even when your head is turned to look.

The Findings

The study found that using a rearview camera increased visibility by an average of 46 percent across all vehicles tested. But even though there is an improvement, this system doesn’t allow a view of everything behind you. AAA still recommends you walk around your vehicle prior to leaving your driveway to be sure there’s nothing in your way that the camera might miss. The camera is used simply to show nothing is moving into the vehicle’s path — like a cyclist, car, or pedestrian.

During inclement weather, the view a rearview camera provides can be hindered. Snow, slush, and rain could fog the lens which will deliver an unclear image. For this reason, whenever you head out in inclement weather, give the camera lens a good wipe prior to leaving so that you see as clearly as possible. What good is a rearview backup system when all the images provided are blurry?

The bottomline is this – rearview cameras are a great help to drivers looking to be as safe as possible. While they don’t protect you from every obstacle that might exist behind your vehicle, they improve your chances of avoiding a collision in most cases. As AAA states, the cameras help drivers see the first 10 feet behind the vehicle. This 10 feet is when small children are most at-risk of being hit when a vehicle is backing up.

Are You Protected?

If you have a new vehicle, chances are you’re equipped with a backup camera. However, not all manufacturers are providing them just yet – the NHTSA guidelines don’t go into effect until 2016 (2018 at the latest). If your car is not equipped with a backup camera, you would be wise to install an aftermarket system. The peace of mind, whether backing out of your driveway, or backing up in a parking lot, is unparalleled. You owe it to yourself, your loved ones, and everyone on the road around you to invest in a rearview camera for your vehicle. AAA has provided the numbers to show just how important it really is, and the difference it can make to your driving experience.

Are you ready for a rearview backup camera system? Contact us today with your questions!