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Backup Cameras Found to be More Effective than Sensors

Backup Cameras Found to be More Effective than Sensors

A recent article from CE Outlook sites a study showing backup cameras are more effective than backup sensors. 


Backup cameras are more effective in preventing backover incidents than simple parking sensors (that beep when they detect an object, but don’t actually show a view of the object), a new study found.

The study, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) used volunteer drivers in an empty parking lot in the Los Angeles area, indicates that cameras would help prevent more backover crashes into pedestrians in the vehicle’s blind zone than parking sensors. Cameras by themselves worked better than sensors and cameras combined.

An estimated 292 people are killed and 18,000 injured each year in backover accidents, usually in driveways or parking lots. Young children and elderly people are most likely to be killed in such crashes.

Backup cameras reduced the blind zone by about 90 percent on average and it reduced crashes by close to rear-visability-child50 percent.  In the study, volunteers drove a 2013 Chevy Equinox and a child-sized dummy was secretly placed behind it.  The drivers hit the dummy 100 percent of the time when no camera or sensor was used.  With the backup camera, 56 percent hit the dummy.  With a sensor, just 1 out of 16 drivers avoided a crash.

Interestingly, when drivers used both a camera and a sensor, 75 percent hit the dummy. The IIHS concluded, “It may be that the sensors… gave drivers a false sense of security, so they paid less attention to the camera display.” But the sensors only which detect objects up to 8 feet behind the vehicle at speeds less than 5 mph.  The IIHS concluded the sensors might be more useful if they had a bigger range and gave an earlier warning signal.

Still, the rear view cameras did not prevent a crash almost half the time.  When the dummy was in the shade, almost every driver still hit it, even though they looked at the display.  Poor weather conditions might also impact the view of an object, said the IIHS.

Source: CE Outlook and IIHS

Backup Cameras Found to be More Effective than Sensors

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