Car backup cameras, which show drivers the space behind their vehicles, are a modern safety feature that simplify driving. Consequently, federal law has required all new vehicles sold in the U.S. since 2018 to have backup cameras.
Back-over accidents, where a vehicle rolls over or into a pedestrian, kill roughly 200 individuals every year and injure more than 12,000 others. While your car’s vehicle camera may decrease your chances of colliding with a pedestrian or a fixed object, overreliance on it may put your life and the lives of others in danger.
A restricted view
All cars have blind spots, which are places around vehicles drivers simply cannot see. While your car’s backup camera reduces the blind spot behind your vehicle, it does not eliminate it. In fact, most backup cameras only have an 80-degree visual field. This means there remain large areas behind your car you cannot see when looking at the monitor inside your vehicle.
The possibility of distortion
The camera lens on the back of your vehicle may collect moisture, ice or dirt. If the lens is not clean, you may see a distorted view on your screen. Even worse, grime on your backup camera’s lens may completely obscure objects. If you do not look over your shoulder before reversing your car, you may inadvertently collide with a person or object.
A risk of malfunction
Like any other mechanical or electrical component on your vehicle, your car’s backup camera may malfunction. If this happens, the screen inside your car may go blank. Alternatively, the camera may deliver unreliable or delayed images.
A malfunctioning backup camera is a recipe for disaster. Therefore, inspecting your car’s backup camera and screen is an important part of your regular maintenance schedule.