When it comes to detecting objects, rearview cameras outperform parking sensors.
In 2008, the U.S. Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, which, among other things, required that all new cars sold in the U.S. come equipped with devices to enhance rear visibility. According to the terms of the bill, the Department of Transportation had until 2011 to set standards for those devices and establish an implementation policy.
Mandating the devices was a noble act, designed to prevent hundreds of accidental deaths and injuries — often those of children too small to be seen by drivers in large vehicles like SUVs. Unfortunately, despite the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s repeated insistence that rearview cameras are coming, the rollout keeps being delayed. Last fall, in the wake of reports that the DOT wouldn’t issue a ruling on the matter until 2015, safety advocates sued the agency for dragging its feet.
Part of the DOT’s reluctance to address the issue may be lingering concerns about the effectiveness of rearview cameras versus other technological solutions to backover injuries and deaths. If so, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety should put those concerns to rest.