ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rearview cameras, soon to be standard on all new vehicles, can be expected to prevent nearly 1 in 6 police-reported backing crashes, an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study concludes.
The study compared rates of backing crashes for vehicles equipped with optional rearview cameras from four manufacturers with crash rates for the same models without the feature. On average, the cameras cut such crashes by 16 percent. Drivers ages 70 and older appeared to benefit the most. The study found that rear parking sensors also cut crashes, though results diverged for the two systems studied. More and more vehicles are being sold with rearview cameras, and all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds must have them by May 2018. The requirement is aimed at reducing backover crashes involving children and other pedestrians. Earlier IIHS research with volunteer drivers showed that rearview cameras dramatically reduce the size of blind zones behind vehicles in which a young child wouldn't be visible. The research showed that cameras are more effective at helping drivers avoid unexpected objects than parking sensors. For the latest study, Jessica Cicchino, the Institute's vice president for research, looked at police-reported crashes in 22 states for Buick Lucernes, Honda Pilots and various Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Subaru models. All except the Lucernes and some Mercedes-Benz models had optional rear cameras. The Lucernes and some Mercedes-Benz vehicles had optional parking sensors. Using police reports allowed Cicchino to identify crashes in which study vehicles were traveling in reverse. She used vehicle identification numbers to determine which crash-involved backing vehicles were equipped with the cameras or sensors.