The main reason for installing a backup camera is safety. Alarmingly, around fifty children are backed over by vehicles every week in the U.S. Most child victims are aged between 1 and 2 years because their small size makes them hard to see from the driver’s seat. Tragically, in over 70% of these cases, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel.
Roughly 200 people of all ages are killed each year, and another 14,000 are injured in back over accidents. Over 60% of backing up incidents involved a larger size vehicle such as a truck, van or SUV which are harder to see out of when backing up. Particularly vulnerable are children, disabled people, the elderly, and domestic pets.
So, if you’re worried you may hurt or kill someone or a family pet when backing up, a backup camera may stop you from having an accident. This is what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says, ‘A rear-view video system (RVS), also known as a backup camera, is a safety technology that helps prevent backover crashes and protect our most vulnerable people—children and senior citizens. By providing an image of the area behind the vehicle, backup cameras help drivers see behind the vehicle.’ Safercar.gov.
In response to the statistics, the NHTSA has mandated that all new cars under 10,000 pounds must have a rear-view camera from May 2018. Cameras must show a 10-foot-by-20-foot zone behind the vehicle, something most modern backup cameras can comply with. The NHTSA claims this should save at least 58 lives each year.
This law will be enforced over the border too. Transport Canada says new cars and small trucks must be equipped with rear-view camera systems starting in May 2018. This will bring Canadian standards in line with those in the United States. The new requirement applies to new light vehicles, including passenger cars, light trucks, three-wheelers and small vans and buses.
Backup cameras were beginning to become popular even without NHTSA’s mandate. According to NHTSA, they’re now included on around half of all new cars, and nearly three-quarters of vehicles will have them by 2018.
New cars may cost more to pay for the rear-view cameras, around $140 for a complete system and around $45 to add a camera to a vehicle that already has an adequate display screen. But many believe that this amount is a small price to pay as backup cameras save lives.
When used with rear and side view mirrors, backup cameras can help to make reversing safer, and parallel parking easier. If your car isn’t new and you don’t want to upgrade to a new car just yet, buying an aftermarket backup camera is the obvious answer. It’s cheaper than you might think and you can either install one yourself or get it installed for you. Vehicle-Backup-System-Installation-In-Store
See this review on the best rear view cameras available now.
For fitting advice, see our installation guide.
And for getting the best out of your aftermarket camera, see our getting started after you have made your purchase post.
To find out more about how to keep kids safe, see, Kids and Cars.org.
If any terms are unfamiliar, see our Backup Camera Terms Explained page.