How much do backup cameras improve safety on the roads?

Back-up cameras have been a standard part of most passenger vehicles since 2018 and started to appear regularly a few years before that. A federal rule established in 2018 requires all passenger vehicles under 10,000 pounds manufactured or made to sell in the U.S. to be equipped with a back-up camera.

These devices were implemented to improve safety by making drivers more aware of any vehicles, pedestrians or other objects that may be in the path of the vehicle as it is reversing. However, there has been debate over how effective these cameras are at truly improving road safety. Some believe while useful, they have given drivers a fall sense of security, and that 100 percent reliance on them can be dangerous.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 15,000 people are injured and 210 people are killed each year by back-over crashes. Children under five make up for 31 percent of these types of accidents every year, and adults over 70 years of age account for 26 percent.

Benefits are often debated 

Given the statistics above, some consumers wonder how beneficial these cameras are. A 2018 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated that rearview cameras can be expected to prevent approximately one in six back-up accidents that are reported to the police. On average, the back-up cameras reduced these types of crashes by 16 percent.

The biggest benefit of back-up cameras appeared to be for drivers over 70 years of age, whereas. For that demographic, the back-over crash rate was reduced by 40 percent compared to 15 percent for drivers under the age of 70. An additional study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that a rearview camera in combination with rear parking sensors and a rear automatic braking system, can diminish back-up accidents by 75 percent.

Some of the debate around back-up cameras deals with whether some drivers have become over reliant on them to the extent that they ignore that the cameras cannot prevent “blind spot” issues.

Limitations Exist

Although new technology can greatly improve safety for many drivers and pedestrians, there are some drawbacks, such as dependability. Some drivers may become too dependent on new devices like the back-up cameras.

Back-up cameras typically provide a view of eight to 10 feet on each side of the vehicle and 50 to 70 feet behind the vehicle. The problem is that most of these cameras only provide an 80-degree field of view behind the vehicle, which means an additional 280 degrees that is not in the camera’s view. Therefore, it is crucial that drivers not become too dependent on back-up cameras.

If you or a loved one was involved in an accident, contact the team of experienced attorneys at Bashore Green Law. We work on a contingency fee basis – meaning we do not bill you for any of our services unless we obtain compensation for your claim.

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