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NHTSA Study Shows Drivers With Backup Systems Don’t Look Back

A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently showed that 17 percent of the drivers whose cars are equipped with a backup camera system rely strictly on it, without looking back when reversing. Moreover, 14 percent of those whose cars are fitted with a sensing system tend to do the same.

Why is that report of our concern? Because relying only on the back-up systems without the traditional looking through the vehicle’s rear window is not always enough. Due to the atmospheric conditions, such as rain or snow, the back-up systems can be compromised and lose their effectiveness.

 Also, sensors that use audible warnings (series of audible beeps and sometimes lights that grow increasingly urgent as the object or person grows closer) and don’t have cameras may not detect slender items.

The same study brought to our attention that 40 percent of drivers with sensing systems and 27 percent of those with cameras said they would back more slowly if their vehicles were not so equipped.

In order to mitigate weaknesses when reversing, keep in mind that every vehicle has blind zone areas. As the size and height of a vehicle increases, the blind zone area does as well.

The elevation of the driver's seat, the shape of the windows and mirrors, and the slope of the road or driveway can affect the size of the blind zone behind the vehicle.

Based on calculations of the distance required to stop from a typical backing speed, detection ranges exhibited by the backup systems tested were not sufficient to prevent collisions with pedestrians or other objects.

NHTSA also reported that backover crashes involving all vehicle types are estimated to cause at least 183 fatalities annually. In addition, between 6,700 and 7,419 injuries result from backover crashes per year.

In order to make sure you did all your best when handling the backup maneuver is better to use the back-up systems together with  looking around and using your mirrors.


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