Backup cameras are a great tool to help prevent backovers, and soon they will be on all new cars. However, many drivers will still be using older cars without a backup camera, and even drivers with backup cameras should still remember to check blind spots and look for movement to the sides.
AAA supports NHTSA’s announcement requiring that automakers install rear view cameras on all passenger vehicles by 2018. Rearview cameras can help prevent needless injury and death among our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
Rearview cameras can be very useful in detecting people and objects behind the vehicle, but there are limitations as with any technology. Drivers will still need to turn and check blind spots behind and to the side of the car while backing up in order to ensure safety.
– Avery Ash, AAA Director of Federal Affairs
Every Vehicle Has Blind Spots
Every vehicle has blind spots located beside and behind them. Backover incidents can be caused by the blind spot behind your vehicle that you cannot see in the rear or side view mirrors – or even by leaning out the driver’s side window.
Factors that can contribute to the size of a blind spot include driver height, vehicle size and type, elevation of the driver’s seat and vehicle window and mirror shapes. Even the slope of a driveway can affect the size of the blind spot behind your vehicle, so take special care when backing out of unfamiliar driveways.
Safety Tips for Motorists
Keeping children out of harm’s way requires ongoing education, supervision and vigilance. Safety experts advise the following strategies to help reduce risk of backovers:
- Always assume children could be present and carefully check the street, driveway and area around your vehicle before backing out.
- When backing up, always know where all children are and have them stay in your full view and well away from your vehicle.
- Always look behind as you back out SLOWLY with your windows rolled down to listen for children who may have dashed behind your vehicle suddenly – and be prepared to stop!
- Use extreme care whenever you back up. If you’re driving an SUV or truck, remember that the blind spot behind your vehicle can be especially large.
Safety Tips for Parents
Talk with your children about why they need to be careful around vehicles. Enlist older children to watch out for younger siblings who may not fully understand your concern. Ensure your children are properly supervised at all times, especially wherever motor vehicles might be present.
- Teach children not to play in, under or around vehicles.
- Avoid making your driveway a “playground.” If you allow children in this area, make sure that it’s only when vehicles are not present. To further protect children who may be outside playing, separate the driveway from the roadway with a physical barrier to prevent cars from entering.
- To prevent curious children from putting a vehicle in gear, never leave vehicles running and lock all vehicles, even those in driveways and garages.
Making Everyone’s Driveway Safer
Finally, talk with neighborhood parents about backover incidents and ask them to teach their children not to play in or around any vehicle or driveway. By working together to promote awareness and more protective home and neighborhood environments, we can help to keep all our children safe.