Pros and Cons of Backup Cameras in Alaska Car Accidents


These days, it is hard to find a vehicle that does NOT have a backup camera installed – and it is impossible if you are shopping for a new car. Since May 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has required video features in its regulations on Driver Assistance Technologies. Statistics on accidents involving a reversing vehicle are no doubt part of the motivation in issuing these rules. The NHTSA reveals that, on average, 300 people are killed and 18,000 suffer injuries every year when a vehicle backs over them.

Making rear-view cameras standard is logical in light of these statistics. Plus, they are a convenient tool when parking, especially for drivers of SUVs. Given the pluses, it is hard to believe there could be any downsides, but hazards do exist. You should consult with an Alaska auto crash attorney if you were hurt in a motor vehicle collision.


Backup Cameras Increase Visibility 

Rear-view technology gives drivers a better view into the blind spots behind them, areas that they would not be able to see when reversing the vehicle. Cameras are very useful for SUV drivers, who must navigate 25+ feet of blind spot space behind the vehicle – compared to around 15 feet in a passenger car. The benefits of increased visibility include:

  • Drivers are more likely to see a person, especially a child, when backing out of a driveway or parking spot;
  • Backup cameras are not expensive in the context of vehicle production, adding around $40-$140; and
  • Rear-view cameras also make parallel parking easier in tight spaces.


Some Statistics Contradict the Pros of Backup Cameras

Focusing on safety – the primary objective behind the technology – rearview video systems fall short when considering the numbers. According to NHTSA data, auto makers more than doubled their sales of vehicles with backup cameras: From 2008-2011, the percentage of units sold with backup cameras went from 30% to 70%. Despite the fact that there are more vehicles on the road with rearview video systems, casualties from reversing autos did not drop significantly. During that same time period, injuries went from 13,000 to 12,000. 

Analysts speculate that backup cameras are little more than a false sense of security for motorists. Drivers may become complacent in their legal obligation to operate the vehicle safely, instead relying too much on the rear camera to do the job. Plus, many will take the opportunity to text or talk on the phone while in reverse – trusting the camera technology to avoid collisions.


Discuss Your Legal Options with Alaska’s Car Accidents Lawyers 

There are obvious benefits to rear-view cameras, but it is important to realize that they cannot completely eliminate the likelihood of auto crashes. No advanced driving features can replace a human driver, so negligence will always be a factor. If you were hurt in any type of motor vehicle crash, contact Power & Power Law to speak to one of our MVC attorneys. We can set up a free consultation at our office in Anchorage, Alaska to review your case and advise you on your options.