Rear-View Cameras Can Save Lives

by Community Manager ‎12-17-2014 02:21 PM - edited ‎12-19-2014 09:35 AM (8,848 Views)

There is danger whenever you back up your vehicle, but rear-view cameras can make it a little less risky.


For many motorists, putting the vehicle in reverse and backing up is one of driving’s most difficult and stressful tasks—and for good reason. A driver’s blind zone when backing up amounts to the size of an average living room (15” x 15” x 8”), and the first 10 feet behind the vehicle are the most hazardous. Even though back-up accidents account for a relatively small percentage of overall crashes, they are often deadly and have a high emotional consequence, since they are more likely to involve small children.


Fortunately, rear-view cameras can significantly reduce the number of these accidents, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has taken action to require them in all passenger vehicles beginning in 2016, with full compliance by May 2018.


AAA put these cameras to the test and found that they can significantly reduce the blind-zone area behind a vehicle. Evaluating 17 vehicles across 11 manufacturers with factory-installed and aftermarket rear-view camera systems on a variety of vehicle body styles, here’s what the tests revealed.


  • All of the systems tested met—and many exceeded—the minimum specifications for image quality per the NHTSA guideline.
  • The systems increased visibility of the rear blind-zone area by an average of 46 percent, ranging 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.
  • The best units offer a 120° field of view, which provides the best visual. Some camera lenses are more extreme—approaching 170°—but their quality suffers badly and the resulting image is all but unrecognizable.
  • The useful viewable distance is not much longer than 20 feet for any of the systems evaluated. Objects more than 20 feet behind the vehicle are simply too small on the display to be useful for drivers.
  • The systems are ineffective during inclement weather, as rain, snow or slush can cloud the camera lens, delivering a blurry image that does not aid the driver.


Rear-view camera systems are currently installed on about 25% of all vehicles, but if you don’t have one on yours, consider purchasing an aftermarket system, then have it installed by a qualified car audio or electronics shop. Prices for these systems start at around $100, before installation.


The bottom line: A rear-view camera provides a high-quality visual double-check that nothing is immediately behind the vehicle, but it is not a substitute for a walk-through inspection prior to getting into the vehicle.


To see AAA’s ratings, plus additional information about this and other in-vehicle technologies, visit


Photo Credit: Christopher Badzioch/iStockPhoto


AAA National, October 2014


by janetj
on ‎12-24-2014 01:01 AM

My beloved 2002 PT Cruiser has been trying to tell me something lately. When I would hit the road, the heat gauge used to climb steadily to the halfway point & never budge again. Now it’s become unpredictable. It will get up almost to the red zone, then plunge down below the halfway mark. It seems that running the fan full blast helps, but I’m afraid that fix is gonna be temporary. When I stop for a red light, it’s usual to have cold air from the heat vents until I start moving again. Frequently when I reach my destination, I will hear a gurgling noise. Coolant resettling? Sounds reasonable; it just didn’t do that in the past. I’ve taken her into the shop twice. They’ve driven her around & tested her every way they can think of, but have been unable to duplicate my problem or find anything wrong. Can you help please?

on ‎12-29-2014 10:39 AM
It definitely sounds like your PT Cruiser is having some sort of cooling system issue, whether it is a water pump, thermostat, fan issue, or other, that is what needs to be determined. I would recommend explaining the symptoms you are experiencing, just like you did here, to your shop and having them perform a complete diagnosis on the system. Cooling system issues can lead to costly engine repairs if not taken care of promptly. So it is important to find out what is going on here before more damage is done. If your shop is unable to diagnosis this issue. You can look for one of the AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities in your area and they will be able to help.
by Michshell
on ‎02-04-2015 02:01 PM

My 2009 Nissan Altima Coupe, 2Dr, 100k miles is accumulating puddles of water on the rear floor, passenger side. This only happens when it rains. I put a towel down to soak up some of the water. There were spots of rust color on the towel. None of the seats or side panels were wet from drips. I also had a mechanic poor water outside of the car, down the side passenger door and over the sunroof, but there were no drips on the inside from the door/window/roof seals. Has anyone else had this problem? Do I take this problem to a regular mechanic or a specialty mechanic?

on ‎02-05-2015 05:50 PM

'Wind Noise and Water Leak' problems are very common.


It's possible that there is a leak at a body seam in the floor pan or there is a crack or rust allowing the water in.


The actual source is easy to find if the technician uses an Ultrasonic Leak Detector like this one to find where air is escaping (and water is entering).


The average mechanical repair shop will not have that equipment (but some of the better shops will).


That type if repair is very common at body shops and dealerships.


Search your local area for recommended facilities and ask them if they do Wind Noise complaints and will they guarantee their work.

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