Drivers across the country will soon benefit from legislation requiring automobile manufacturers to install back-up cameras in all cars. The law won’t take effect until 2018, but many new cars already come standard with this important safety tool.
As a Los Angeles car accident lawyer, I often advise my clients and friends that while using a back-up camera is a great way to enhance driving safety, it should not replace other effective ways to prevent reversing accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that each year,15,000 people are injured because of reversing accidents. Hundreds of people are killed nationwide in this avoidable scenario.
Using a back-up camera should supplement the overall reversing process, not replace it. A reversing driver should still use the car’s rear-view mirrors and look over his or her shoulder while backing up.
It’s also a good idea to do a quick walk-around your car to make sure no foreign objects are hiding under the car or rear tires. Remember yesterday when your kids lost their ball or forgot to move their scooter? They might be hiding under your car, resting comfortably next to your neighbor’s cat.
Drivers should also make sure their back-up cameras are in good working order. They should also clean or wipe down their cameras to remove dirt or foreign particles that may cause blurry images.
With the advent of this important safety technology, we can hope that lives will be saved and accidents reduced. But don’t be afraid to look over your shoulder, use your mirrors, and inspect the area around your car to make sure it’s clear before backing up.