Backup cameras are innovative safety features that have been standard equipment on all new vehicles sold in the U.S. since 2018. With these cameras, drivers have a real-time view of the area behind their vehicles. While backup cameras undoubtedly save lives, overreliance on them can be dangerous.
Before reversing their vehicles, drivers have an obligation to be certain pedestrians are reasonably safe. If a motorist fails to do so, pedestrians may suffer catastrophic injuries in a back-over accident.
Cameras may not be reliable
Some backup cameras are better than others. If a camera has a history of providing distorted or delayed footage, it is probably not reasonable for a driver to rely on it. Regrettably, though, drivers simply may hope for the best. This is especially true if they have never collided with a pedestrian before.
Camera lenses can become dirty
From personal pride to resale value, there are many reasons to keep cars clean. If drivers do not wash their vehicles regularly, backup cameras may become dirty. This is due to the placement of the camera’s lens, which is often just above the back bumper. Put simply, a dirty backup camera is not a trustworthy one.
Cameras may not capture fast-moving pedestrians
Even though some backup cameras offer a wide visual field, many others have limited views. If a pedestrian is moving quickly, the backup camera may not alert a driver to his or her presence. Likewise, cameras may not capture small pedestrians.
Ultimately, even if a car has a backup camera, there is no substitute for glancing over the shoulder and looking in the mirrors before backing up.