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.
Best rear-visibility study
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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

VehicleClassStars
BMW X5 (5 Door Wagon) - with camera4WD5
Ford Territory (5 Door Wagon) - with camera4WD5
Honda Legend (Sedan) - with cameraLuxury5
Lexus GS430 (Sedan) - with sensors and cameraLuxury5
Lexus IS250 (Sedan) - with cameraLuxury5
Lexus LS460 (Sedan) - with cameraLuxury5
Toyota Kluger (5 Door Wagon) - with camera4WD5

Vehicles that scored zero stars

VehicleClassStars
Holden Commodore (Sedan)Large0
Holden Epica (Sedan)Medium0
Holden Viva (5 Door Hatch)Small - Medium0
Honda Civic (Sedan)Small - Medium0
Honda Odyssey (5 Door Wagon)4WD0
Hummer H3 (5 Door Wagon)4WD0
Hyundai i30 (5 Door Hatch)Small - Medium0
Mitsubishi 380 (Sedan)Large0
Mitsubishi Lancer (Sedan)Small - Medium0
Toyota Prado (5 Door Wagon)4WD0
Toyota Corolla (Sedan)Small - Medium0
Toyota RAV - 4 (5 Door Wagon)4WD0

For the full stats table click here.