Some would argue that one of the greatest inventions for automobiles is the backup camera or rearview camera. The average person doesn’t know that the death of a small boy, who was ran over on accident by his father, was partially responsible for why most modern rearview cameras exist.
The NHTSA has been working towards forcing automakers to make rearview cameras standard in every future automobile. According to the regulations, automakers have until 2018 to make this technology standard in all passenger vehicles that are sold in the United States.
When you consider the fact that these cameras save lives, it’s easy to understand how beneficial they are. However, until 2018, consumers must make a judgment call and decide if a rearview camera is right for their vehicles.
Avoiding Collisions with a Backup Camera
Rearview cameras make backing out of a parking spot, driveway or sidewalk much safer. They help to prevent collisions between vehicles and property. About one fourth of all vehicular collisions occur when a driver is backing up.
Over half of these collisions occur very close to your home. The sad news is that 75 percent of all of these collisions can be prevented, but most vehicles don’t have a rearview camera installed, so the driver is far more likely to be involved in an accident when backing up.
Rearview cameras can help to prevent a vehicle from colliding with curbs, bikes, children and other vehicles. The camera gives the driver an additional set of eyes, which lets him or her see where there is normally a blind spot.
How They Work
A typical backup camera, like the one you would find on a modern vehicle, is roughly the size of a nickel. It’s usually mounted on the exterior of a car or SUV. It provides a real-time video feed of the space behind a vehicle.
Many of the newest cameras actually have sensors, which alert the driver when the vehicle is getting too close to an object. A lot of cameras have technology that displays guidelines onto the screen that displays the digital video feed from the camera.
While these cameras are incredibly useful for everyday passenger vehicles, they’re also very useful for large commercial vehicles. The blind spot that the drivers of large bulldozers must deal with is huge.
A backup camera helps to bridge the gap and lets drivers see what they can only see with a camera mounted to the exterior of the vehicle.
The Pitfalls of Backup Cameras
There is no doubt that rearview cameras increase convenience and safety, but they can cause drivers to get tunnel vision, which can encourage the driver to not use data from the rearview and side mirrors.
Some backup cameras can cost $1,000 or more to have installed, so they can be cost prohibitive for some drivers. However, if the technology can save even one single life or collision, it can instantly pay for itself.