Backup cameras cut accidents more than sensors
To prevent a parking-lot or driveway tragedy, itâ€™s better to see rather than hear the danger. Thatâ€™s the upshot of an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study that compared the effectiveness of backup cameras versus sensors in preventing â€œbackoverâ€ accidents, which claim an estimated 292 lives and injure 18,000 people (mostly young children and the elderly) each year.
In fact, cameras work better by themselves than when combined with a backup sensor. Researchers speculate that the sensors may start beeping too soon (so drivers tune them out) or give a false sense of security (so drivers pay less attention to the camera display).
The study cautioned that while backup cameras reduce the â€œblindâ€ zone behind a vehicle by about 90%, they donâ€™t prevent all collisions. When test objects were in the shade, drivers often failed to see them on the screen. That suggests camerasâ€™ usefulness may be limited in low-light and stormy conditions.
Your next new car likely will be equipped with a backup camera, thanks to a new ruling from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Beginning in May 2018, new cars under 10,000 pounds must provide a rear view of the 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle.