Because of their height, children are particularly vulnerable to backover accidents. In fact, thousands of kids either die or sustain serious injuries in backover accidents every single year. To avoid a catastrophe, it is important to always look for children before reversing your vehicle.
Since 2018, all new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the U.S. must have functioning backup cameras. This type of camera broadcasts footage from the rear of the vehicle into the passenger cabin. Overreliance on backup cameras may be a recipe for disaster, however. Here are three tips for using a backup camera safely.
1. Walk around the vehicle
If you know you need to back out of a parking space or your driveway, you should walk around the vehicle before climbing behind the steering wheel. Doing so gives you an opportunity to check for children, pets and anything else you may back over accidentally.
2. Clean the camera lens
A dirty camera lens may distort images or obscure them altogether. Therefore, you should regularly clean your car’s camera lens and inspect it for visible signs of damage. To locate your car’s camera lens, refer to your owner’s manual or ask a mechanic to point it out.
3. Check your blind spots
Even though your car’s backup camera minimizes the blind spot behind your car, it does not eliminate it. After all, your camera only has about an 80-degree visual field. Consequently, you must use your mirrors to check your blind spots before reversing your vehicle. You should also look over both your shoulders.
Even if you use your backup camera correctly, you may not be able to eliminate your chances of backing into or over a child. If you have an accident, keeping your cool and calling 911 may either save the life of a child or prevent long-term injury.