Why back-up cameras haven’t stopped drivers from backing into stuff
With or without eyes in the back of their heads, drivers keep hitting things.
Despite the growing prevalence of back-up cameras, federal data shows that this technology hasn’t significantly cut down on cars backing into people and causing them harm. That research on so-called “back-over incidents” comes as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration moves to make back-up cameras standard and presses automakers to add a bevy of new technologies — from automatic braking to lane collision warnings — to even entry-level cars to reduce accidents on the road.
Back-up cameras have been around longer than other car safety tech, so the federal government has years of data on their impact.
Between 2008 and 2011 — the most recent years for which data was made available by NHTSA — back-up cameras more than doubled from 32 percent to 68 percent of all new cars sold. But injuries fell less than 8 percent, from about 13,000 down to 12,000. The improvement in safety has been very gradual from year to year.