ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rear-view camera systems improved rear visibility an average of 46 percent in AAA's tests. These systems are intended to improve driver awareness of the area immediately behind the vehicle in order to reduce the instance of back-over fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires a rear-view image in all passenger vehicles beginning in 2016, with full compliance by May 2018.
-- AAA evaluated 17 vehicles across 11 manufacturers with factory-installed
and aftermarket rear-view camera systems on a variety of vehicle body
-- The increased visibility ranged from a 36 percent improvement in smaller
sedans to a 75 percent improvement in hatchbacks. Large trucks and sport
utility vehicles scored in the mid-range of vehicles evaluated.
"Rear-view cameras are a great supplement for drivers," says John Nielsen, AAA's managing director of Automotive Engineering. "Cameras don't replace the need to check around your vehicle for obstacles before getting in to back up, but they do dramatically improve rear visibility. These systems are especially helpful for viewing the first 10 feet behind the vehicle, which are the most hazardous in terms of back-over risk for young children."
AAA evaluated 17 vehicles across 11 manufacturers with factory-installed and aftermarket rear-view camera systems, testing a variety of vehicle body styles to measure the reduction in blind-zone areas as a direct result of using a rear-view camera system. AAA's research - conducted with the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center - found that:
-- A rear-view camera system increased visibility of the rear blind-zone
area by an average of 46 percent for the vehicles tested. This ranged
from a 36 percent improvement in smaller sedans to a 75 percent
improvement in hatchbacks.
-- Although these systems dramatically improve rear-view visibility, they
do not show 100 percent of the space behind the vehicle. AAA recommends
drivers always walk behind their vehicle to visually confirm that there
are no obstacles, and use the rear-view camera to confirm that nothing
has entered the area immediately behind the vehicle since the driver's
-- Rain, snow or slush can cloud the rear-view camera lens, delivering
blurry imagery. Motorists will need to resort to manual methods of
confirming that the rear blind zone is clear during inclement weather.
Wiping the camera during the pre-drive inspection is a good habit that
ensures the camera is ready to capture a clear image.
-- All of the systems tested met - and many exceeded - the minimum
specifications for image quality per the NHTSA guideline.
"As Halloween approaches, we know that neighborhoods will be filled with small trick-or-treaters that could easily be missed when the driver turns his head to look behind the vehicle," says Nielsen. "When used appropriately, a rear-view camera offers a bright, clear view directly behind the vehicle where small children are most difficult to see."
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also has provided an assessment of back-up cameras, along with six other advanced technologies, in the August 2014 reportEvaluating Technologies Relevant to the Enhancement of Driver Safety. Conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab, the study details a data-driven system for rating the effectiveness of new in-vehicle technologies intended to improve driver safety. Motorists can review the AAA Foundation's rating for new in-vehicle technologies, along with extensive informational material, at https://www.aaafoundation.org/ratings-vehicle-safety-technology.
As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
AAA conducts proprietary research to better understand implications of automotive technology, design and functionality for consumers. Additional information regarding AAA's research on rear-view camera systems is available on the AAA Newsroom.
Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable educational and research organization. Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation's mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through research and education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded over 200 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them, and minimize injuries when they do occur. Visit www.aaafoundation.org for more information on this and other research.
AAA news releases, high-resolution images, broadcast-quality video, fact sheets and podcasts are available on the AAA Newsroom at newsroom.aaa.com.
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