I Don’t Need to Turn Around: Common Misconceptions About Backup Cameras

Car owners across America are demanding the integration of backup cameras into more vehicles. These cameras are designed to eliminate blind spots by giving you a nearly real-time view of the area behind your car.

The use of these cameras has given rise to the car misconception that checking mirrors and blind spots is unnecessary. That’s simply not the case.

How Backup Cameras Work

Backup cameras use a variety of video equipment to display what is located behind your car in positions you cannot see in your rear view or side mirrors. They display an area about 10-by-20 feet in size.

When you put your car into reverse, a rear view image will pop up two seconds later. This images gives you a nearly full-range view of what’s located behind your car and eliminates blind spots.

Why They Aren’t Perfect

While these cameras are useful when backing up or checking your blind spots, they simply can’t be relied on in full-speed driving situations. The big reason for that is the delay in video feed.

While backup camera feeds are nearly instantaneous, they aren’t as quick as your eyes. Simply put, it takes more time for you to see an image on a screen and process its relevance than it does for you to simply see the object. This can slow your reaction speed.

Studies on Backup Cameras

Naturally, backup cameras have been subjected to a wide range of studies and tests. Sometimes, these results have been less than promising. A study by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that 56% of people solely using rear view cameras ran into a dummy when backing up.

To be fair, that was better than the 75% of people who hit the dummy when relying on both the backup camera and rear view mirrors. Shockingly, nearly every driver hit the dummy if it was first placed in some shade.

While these cameras definitely show some promise when used properly, they aren’t a miracle cure for backup accidents. If you want to learn more about them, contact us at Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center.


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