Rear Cameras More Effective Than Parking Sensors, Study Finds | Edmunds

Rear Cameras More Effective Than Parking Sensors, Study Finds


Just the Facts:
  • A new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study finds that rear cameras are more effective than parking sensors at helping drivers avoid objects while traveling in reverse.
  • Back-up cameras reduced the blind zone by about 90 percent on average, the study found.
  • The IIHS praised the Ford F-150 pickup truck for good rear visibility, due to "large side mirrors designed to help with towing."

ARLINGTON, Virginia A new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study finds that rear cameras are more effective than parking sensors at helping drivers avoid objects while traveling in reverse.

But the study warned that the rear cameras "don't help in every situation."

Back-up cameras reduced the blind zone by about 90 percent on average, the study found.

"Right now cameras appear to be the most promising technology for addressing this particularly tragic type of crash, which frequently claims the lives of young children in the driveways of their own homes," said David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer of the IIHS, in a statement.

The study was conducted with volunteer drivers in an empty parking lot in the Los Angeles area.

In an interesting twist, the IIHS said cameras by themselves worked better than sensors and cameras combined.

Large SUVs were found to have the worst rear visibility, while small cars had the best.

The IIHS praised the Ford F-150 pickup truck for good rear visibility, due to "large side mirrors designed to help with towing."

It noted that "the larger the vehicle, the worse the visibility. However, the Hyundai Sonata, a midsize car, was an exception."

"At 263 square feet, its blind zone for a 12-15 month-old was 42 percent larger than that of the F-150 pickup truck," the IIHS study said. "The Sonata's large blind zone is due in part to an extremely sloped rear window and tall rear trunk lid."

The federal government estimates that 292 people are killed and 18,000 injured each year by drivers who back into them, usually in driveways or parking lots. Young children and elderly people are most likely to be killed in such crashes.

The Obama administration has delayed rules to mandate back-up cameras in future vehicles.

Edmunds says: It may make more sense to pay for a rear camera than parking sensors, according to this study.

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