Since 2018, all new vehicles sold in the U.S. must have a backup camera. This safety enhancement sends footage from behind a vehicle into its passenger cabin.
While backup cameras may help some drivers avoid collisions, they may also not be as safe as you think. Here are three potentially serious problems with car backup cameras.
1. A false sense of security
Because backup cameras only have an 80-degree visual field, they simply cannot be a driver’s only source of information. Nevertheless, if a car has a backup camera, its driver may rely too much on it.
Before reversing a vehicle, the driver should carefully examine the space around it. This may require glancing over the shoulder or using a vehicle’s rear-view and side mirrors. If the driver exclusively uses the backup camera and skips these steps, he or she may put others at risk.
2. Distracted backing
Many backup cameras use multimedia screens that also show maps, music, climate controls and other vehicle features. Still, when reversing a vehicle, the driver must maintain focus. If the camera’s screen or its many features distract the driver, he or she may inadvertently cause a collision.
3. Front-over risk
Even at slower speeds, backing over a pedestrian may leave him or her with life-threatening injuries. While backup cameras may decrease these injuries, they do nothing to stop front-over ones.
A front-over accident occurs when a vehicle rolls forward over an adult or child. Because backup cameras point in the wrong direction, they are simply incapable of minimizing front-over risk.