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Backup Cameras: A New Traffic Safety Standard

Backup Cameras: A New Traffic Safety Standard

Note: This was featured as part of our Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge with Box in the Morning. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:50 am ET for the latest law tips and legal news. You can listen to the segment below:


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a new traffic safety standard. The Administration stated that all new cars under 10,000 lbs must be equipped with backup cameras by May of 2018. These cars must show a 10 by 20 foot zone behind the vehicle to assist drivers in reversing their vehicles.

The mandatory addition of backup cameras to new cars will help prevent damages and injuries, and even save lives. Each year, roughly 200 people are killed and 14,000 injured in back over accidents. Many of the victims include pedestrians, and especially children, who are harder to see due to their small size.

Backup cameras help prevent drivers from colliding with pedestrians and children, inanimate objects, as well as other cars. The technology can be especially beneficial in large parking lots, where drivers have a hard time seeing around other cars when backing out of a parking space. Backup cameras are also particularly helpful during the busy holiday shopping season when there are more pedestrians to look out for.

Some may be worrying, won’t this add to the cost of new cars? While backup cameras may have been considered a luxury option in vehicles at one time, the advancement of technology has made implementing this feature much easier and less expensive in recent years. The addition of backup cameras will only add approximately between $40 and $140 to the price of a new car.

If your car is already equipped with a rear camera, make sure you have proper visibility by cleaning it with a soft cloth dampened with water or a non-abrasive cleanser. Oftentimes, bad weather such as rain and ice can cause cameras to become foggy.

While backup cameras are an extremely helpful tool while driving, remember that the cameras do not replace your responsibility to practice proper driving procedures. Be sure to still check your rearview and side mirrors as well as check over your shoulder when backing up your car. Not only are these practices important for being aware of your surroundings, but you also need to be in the habit of performing them in case the camera malfunctions.

The NHSTA’s mandate to add backup cameras to new vehicles will help prevent the countless damages and injuries that occur due to back over incidents. If you have any questions, please contact the John Price Law firm online or at (843)552-6011.