A basic skill taught to all drivers is to check a vehicle’s blindspot. But with the increasing usage of SUVs, and competition among automakers to differentiate themselves, backup sensors and cameras are joining NAV systems and heated seats as desirable technology for many consumers.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that, between 2001 through 2003, over 7,000 children were treated for non-lethal injuries after being hit by drivers who didn’t see them behind the vehicle. Child safety organization KidsandCars.org estimates 97 were killed in 2005 alone.

Backup cameras are available to assist preventing such tragedies. While many integrate with any installed NAV system, kits can also be bought and installed separately. The driver can see the waist and his feet of a person three feet behind the vehicle. Installing the camera higher on SUVs or vans also provides a more panoramic view. More sophisticated systems use radar to give distance information.

Backup cameras are also useful for drivers who have medical conditions that prevent (or make it difficult) to see behind them. Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler will reimburse a portion of the cost for backup cameras and devices for people with such conditions.

[Source: The Village Daily Sun]


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