Vehicle backup cameras not foolproof, experts warn

Backup cameras are now required in all new vehicles as of May, but safety experts warn the technology isn’t as foolproof to prevent an accident as you might think.

New vehicle safety features, including backup cameras, have made roadways safer but drivers are putting too much trust in the tech, according to AAA.

“This new technology can help decrease crashes by 40 percent and decrease fatalities up to 30 percent, but it has to be used properly,” said Kara Hitchens, AAA senior specialist of public and government affairs. “That camera is only going to show you so much. It’s not going to show you everything.”

I used two stuffed animals to demonstrate blind zones using my vehicle’s backup camera. The white cat was easily seen but the grey dolphin was difficult to spot and could have been mistaken for cracks in the pavement.

“The gray and khaki colors almost disappear in the cameras,” Hitchens said.

Her vehicle’s backup camera revealed another problem, large, dark shadows, which would have made it easy to miss a small child, animal, or even a large piece of debris.

To be safe check your cameras blind zones and keep your camera clean, Hitchens said.

“Whenever it rains, it gets rain spots on it so I’d be sure to wipe it off,” said Hitchens.

She also recommends always walking around your vehicle, checking your mirrors, and physically turning around to look before you back up.

“It only takes a second for something bad to happen,” said Ginger Moore of Springboro who said she doesn’t fully trust her backup camera.

“I may miss something or if I look away for a second, something could happen,” said Moore. “I think backup cameras are great to have, but I think the better option is a backup camera and a backup alarm.”

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