While it was in 2018 that the rearview camera requirement went into effect on all new vehicles, the whole debate started in 2008. That was the year Congress passed a law for automakers to take steps to increase visibility. The debate was prompted by a horrible tragedy where a father accidentally backed over his infant son due to poor visibility. George W. Bush was the president at the time, and there was a lot of discussion about vehicle safety leading up to the passing of the law.
It wasn’t until 2014 that the US Department of Transportation took action. This began the process that resulted in the 2018 federal camera requirement. It took about four years to warn manufacturers about the upcoming changes. Basically, any car made after 2018 had to have a rear-view camera installed as a standard feature, no matter the price.
Cut to today, where everyone is riding around with a rearview camera, right? Well, no. There are millions of older cars on the road every day without the benefit of rearview cameras. This is especially true in California, where light winters make the state a lot less damaging to cars than elsewhere in the country.
So, if you are a driver of an older model car, you may want to consider checking out some of the many rearview, or “back up,” cameras that are available online or in electronics and automotive stores. You can add one to any car, just check with the system and dimension requirements for your particular car.
The first reason is safety. The cameras make it easier to park and back out, that much is obviously true. But, the rearview cameras are also great for seeing other drivers. They help out a lot on the road, especially with vehicles that have larger blind spots. This is true for passing cars at great speeds on the freeway or maneuvering cramped streets in a downtown neighborhood.
Beyond other drivers though, the cameras also help you look out for some of the most vulnerable people out there. We are talking about bikers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. The camera is a more effective way to be aware of your surroundings. This helps keep you and others safe on the road.
You should look for a camera with a viewing angle of at least 120 degrees, this will ensure you really see what you need to see behind you. This is only a minimum requirement though, as some cameras will go up to 170 degrees. You will also want to look for good-quality night vision. You’ll want to be able to see up to 30 feet behind you, even in the dark. Lastly, ensure you have a good, clear monitor that is easy to use and to see.
We all strive to be safe on the road and to do our best to keep others safe as well. Even with precautions like these, accidents are sometimes unavoidable. If you ever do find yourself in an accident, make sure to contact a professional legal team for help.