Car Accident Prevention Advocates Promote Rear-View Cameras to End Backover Accidents and Deaths
AAA Mid-Atlantic safety officials say that recent tests conducted using rear-view cameras in some vehicles show that the added safety feature helps prevent backover accidents and deaths, especially involving children.
Recent tests conducted by AAA using rear-view cameras showed that the safety addition improved visibility behind the car, SUV, or truck an average of 46%. The researchers evaluated 17 vehicles from 11 different manufacturers, and used both factory-installed and aftermarket rear-view camera systems. They found that cars that were lower to the ground, like sedans, had 36% improved visibility behind the vehicle, while hatchbacks and SUVs had 75% improved visibility.
“Rear-view cameras are a great supplement for drivers and 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,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “However, while these cameras dramatically improve rear visibility, they do not replace the need to check around your vehicle for obstacles before getting in to your vehicle and backing up.”
Although the study did not completely prevent backover accidents, AAA said that the safety feature would go a long way to saving lives and preventing serious personal injury from such accidents. According to one safety group, KidsAndCars.org, 61 children were killed in backover accidents across the country in 2013 alone. The predominant age of children injured or killed in backover accidents is 1 year old – between 12 and 23 months. Tragically, in 70% of those accidents, a parent or relative is behind the wheel of the car that causes the accident.
“You can’t avoid hitting something you simply cannot see. Most people don’t realize how prevalent this problem is,” Janette Fennell, founder and president of Kids and Cars, said. “Or how preventable it is.”
“Everyone would agree that the worst thing that can ever happen is to lose a child,” Janette Fennell stated. “Add to that that you were somehow responsible — that you were the driver of the vehicle. Most parents never get over it.”
Consumer Reports offers a tool to measure the blind zone – not just a blind spot – around your vehicle so you as a driver can be aware of the backover and rollover potential of your vehicle. KidsAndCars.org adds that it is important to walk around your vehicle and inspect it closely to make sure no children are in the area before driving away, especially if you are in the vicinity of a child under the age of 5.
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