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.
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.