Beginning in 2016, carmakers are required to add rear-view image systems into all passenger vehicles. Although this new regulation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was met with criticism, AAA conducted tests that showed rear-view camera systems improved visibility from 36 percent to 75 percent.
AAA evaluated 17 vehicles of varying types and sizes with factory-installed and aftermarket cameras. According to their results, rear-view cameras improved visibility in small sedans by 36 percent and in hatchbacks by a whopping 75 percent. The improvement for large trucks and SUVs fell in the middle of that range.
“Rear-view cameras are a great supplement for drivers,” says John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering. “Cameras don’t replace the need to check around your vehicle for obstacles before getting in to back up, but they do dramatically improve rear visibility. These systems are especially helpful for viewing the first 10 feet behind the vehicle, which are the most hazardous in terms of back-over risk for young children.”
AAA also notes that rain, snow and slush can cloud the rear-view camera lens, and motorists will need to manually clean the lens to keep it clean and functioning properly. For those of us in the Chicago area, this can be a part-time job this time of year!
We’d like to know what you think about rear-view camera systems. Do you have one or want one? Do you think they will help? Email us your comments today, and we’ll include them in our April newsletter.