Extra Eyes: Can a Car Camera System Improve Your Drive?
Automakers have improved safety and visibility by leaps and bounds in the past decade. The adoption of the car camera system is a large part of those efforts.
Some camera systems can only be found on newer vehicles and higher trim levels. However, rearview car camera systems will be mandatory starting in May 2018. The reason is simple: Side-view mirrors and rearview mirrors will never give you a complete picture of what’s going on outside your vehicle. Ignoring blind spots results in millions of accidents and thousands of fatalities every year, during such simple maneuvers as changing lanes, parallel parking or backing out of a driveway. Here’s a look at three common car cameras and how they can benefit you.
Rear blind spots are especially pronounced in SUVs and large sedans, and parallel parking or backing out of parking spots or driveways can be dangerous. The rearview car camera system, or backup camera, can nearly eliminate blind spots to the rear of the vehicle. This could save some 18,000 injuries and 300 fatalities every year, not to mention an untold number of trees, shrubs, bicycles, garage doors and fences.
While many new vehicles include this technology, that doesn’t mean your current ride can’t benefit from an aftermarket solution, such as the PEAK Wireless Back-Up Camera. The 4.3-inch color monitor mounts on your dash or windshield, plugging into a 12-volt socket. The wireless camera mounts to your license plate bracket and only needs to be connected to the reverse lights.
Dash cam videos are useful for more than just YouTube hits. Dash-cam video footage is the single best piece of evidence you can provide in case of an accident or damage to your vehicle. If someone backs into your car or short brakes you, dash cam footage will show it.
Dash cams aren’t all about legality, though. Are you going on a summer road trip? Work some of your dash cam video into other trip photos to show your friends or watch from time to time. These are great memories you might be hard-pressed to remake.
Lane changing really puts your visibility to the test, and anything from motorcycles to full-size SUVs could be hiding in your blind spots. Relying only on your mirrors for a lane change could result in an accident. Over 1.7 million accidents are reported every year during a lane change, but side-view cams or blind-spot cams provide an extra layer of protection, giving you the visibility you need to avoid an accident.
Some new vehicles are already employing side-view cams or some other form of blind-spot monitoring, but that doesn’t mean you can’t install your own. This usually involves attaching a couple of small cameras to your side-view mirrors, front fenders or front doors and routing their cables to a monitor inside the vehicle. Some are even wireless, requiring only a power connection for the camera.
Whether you buy a vehicle with a car camera system or install one in your current ride, it’ll make a huge impact on your safety.
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Benjamin Jerew View All
Ben has been taking things apart since he was 5, and putting them back together again since he was 8. After dabbling in DIY repairs at home and on the farm, he found his calling in the CGCC Automobile Repair program. After he held his ASE CMAT for 10 years, Ben decided he needed a change. Now, he writes on automotive topics across the web and around the world, including new automotive technology, transportation legislation, emissions, fuel economy and auto repair.
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