The  NRMA has recently finished a study ranking vehicles for their rear-ward visibility. Cars were judged on how well a driver can see out the back of a car, as well as the availability of reversing technology.

The issue has become a big concern with a child run over in their driveway every week in Australia. The incidents now account for about 10per cent of all child pedestrian deaths and injuries.

More and more car manufacturers now offer reversing cameras as standard or a factory option. The number has incrased from 5 in 2006 to 15 in 2007.

Lexus Cars

NRMA Insurance Road Safety Manager Pam Leicester was thankful that more manufacturers see the need for reverse cameras, especially on larger cars.

We especially welcome the recent move by Toyota in making a reversing camera standard on all grades of the new model Kluger” she said

Lexus managed the best result with 3 cars in the top seven (table at the end of article). But it’s not all good news. Sedans and small cars are lagging behind with three out of the four most popular family sedans receiving a 0 star rating, and of the 12 cars who failed to achieve any stars five are small-medium vehicles.

“This is a real concern because many of these vehicles have hazardous reversing blind areas, usually caused by high rear window lines and boots.” Ms Leicester said

The research showed that with so many manufacturers now offering large display screens integrating audio systems, GPS navigation and more, the cost of adding a reverse camera is minimal.

There is also a large market of retail products which can be easily retro-fitted to older vehicles that don’t feature a display screen

Retro-fitting reversing cameras can result in improved rear visibility for drivers of many cars on our road today. A properly-installed camera could, in fact, give the driver the same visibility as a five-star car,” Ms Leicester added.

The NRMA was quick to point out that regardless of technology, there was no substitute for adult supervision of children around cars.

Top scoring vehicles

Vehicle Class Stars
BMW X5 (5 Door Wagon) – with camera 4WD 5
Ford Territory (5 Door Wagon) – with camera 4WD 5
Honda Legend (Sedan) – with camera Luxury 5
Lexus GS430 (Sedan) – with sensors and camera Luxury 5
Lexus IS250 (Sedan) – with camera Luxury 5
Lexus LS460 (Sedan) – with camera Luxury 5
Toyota Kluger (5 Door Wagon) – with camera 4WD 5

Vehicles that scored zero stars

Vehicle Class Stars
Holden Commodore (Sedan) Large 0
Holden Epica (Sedan) Medium 0
Holden Viva (5 Door Hatch) Small – Medium 0
Honda Civic (Sedan) Small – Medium 0
Honda Odyssey (5 Door Wagon) 4WD 0
Hummer H3 (5 Door Wagon) 4WD 0
Hyundai i30 (5 Door Hatch) Small – Medium 0
Mitsubishi 380 (Sedan) Large 0
Mitsubishi Lancer (Sedan) Small – Medium 0
Toyota Prado (5 Door Wagon) 4WD 0
Toyota Corolla (Sedan) Small – Medium 0
Toyota RAV – 4 (5 Door Wagon) 4WD 0

For the full stats table click here.

  • Grant

    same old story.. to achieve a five star crash ratings, the c-pillar is made thicker and the cars window-line is moved further upward. its one of the trade-offs; just like curtain airbags = thick a-pillar.

    a lot of this has to do with design trends, but if you made a car with excellent rear vision without a camera it wouldn’t achieve a good crash rating.

  • tony

    Just mandate all SUVs must have a rear camera with audible warning that can’t be switched off when reversing! There will be no more accidents in driveways!

  • Anthony

    Thats not a study, thats a tick box for wether they have a reversing camera or not.

  • Bret

    Tony, why focus on SUV’s?
    As a group they fair OK, because manufacturers have addressed the issue with them.

    The big news hers is that VE Commodore, CamAurion and 380 all rate very poorly.
    Look at the visability distance not just the star rating.

  • matt

    what about the astra coupe? that has the most godawful rear vision of any car i’ve ever been in. the back window is THAT narrow.