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How reliable is the backup camera in your new vehicle?

It seems that with backup cameras in a lot of the new vehicles, having eyes in the back of your head can be for more than just moms and teachers. These new cameras can give drivers a view of those hard-to-see areas behind a car or truck. This is something that can be particularly helpful for people who drive larger vehicles.

The increase in visibility, however, is not stopping people from running over obstacles with their cars. While the frequency is down, one would expect it to be virtually zero with the help of technology.

Although backup cameras are helpful, they are not flawless. Consider these points when using this feature.

False security

Just because the camera exists doesn't mean that backing up is now risk-free. More often, drivers focus on the screen in front of them and pay less attention to their changing surroundings. A news report pointed out that cameras only "see" about 80 percent of the obstacles behind vehicles, neglecting things that are just outside the camera's range.

While a camera can pick up a child or animal moving behind the vehicle, a watchful driver will see it as it approaches. Before the potential obstacle becomes a threat. Drivers who use the backup camera as only one of many tools (including using mirrors and looking all around the vehicle) are going to be less likely to cause an accident.

Rolling in reverse

Most drivers get at least a little nervous when driving in reverse. While this unease can cause drivers to try to be safer, it also tends to mean that they are counting on the momentum of the car being in "reverse" to move the car, rather than pressing the gas pedal. Why does this make a difference? In general, a person rolling backwards isn't thinking about the action they are causing.

Removing even a small amount of intent from the equation can create a gap between seeing something on the camera and braking to avoid hitting it. Paying more attention to the action of reversing a vehicle can help.

There is no replacement for the careful watch of a conscientious driver. When combined with the other tools available, backup cameras can help drivers keep everyone safer.

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