All new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the U.S. must have backup cameras. While cameras range from basic to sophisticated, all show drivers a real-time picture of the area behind their vehicles. Consequently, using a backup camera may decrease your chances of colliding with a pedestrian, another vehicle or something else.
Modern safety features have contributed to a decline in the number of traffic fatalities nationwide. While backup cameras may help keep drivers and others safe, they are not without their problems, unfortunately.
A restricted view
Even the highest-quality backup cameras on today’s new vehicles only have about an 80-degree visual field. While these cameras may show drivers much of the space behind their vehicles, they simply cannot deliver a complete picture. Put simply, if motorists do not check their blind spots when using backup cameras, they may inadvertently back into or over something.
Accumulated dirt and moisture on backup camera lenses may provide drivers with a distorted view. In some cases, grime on camera lenses may entirely mask objects behind a vehicle. The same may be true for cracked or scratched lenses. Therefore, before using backup cameras, drivers must inspect lenses for visible signs of damage and debris.
Like any other mechanical component, backup cameras may eventually experience technological glitches. For example, Ford Motor Company recently announced the recall of more than 600,000 vehicles for faulty backup cameras.
While motorists may have little control over the timing of mechanical failures, they have a duty to reverse their vehicles responsibly. If there is any evidence backup cameras may fail or be unsafe to use, drivers should back up the old-fashioned way.