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Graphic courtesy of the MyCarDoesWhat.org Campaign
If avoiding accidents and keeping you and your passengers safe in the car is a priority, it might be time to see what's new in car safety technology. The best part is, you don't actually need a new car to get it.
The U.S. department of transportation and NHTSA believe that backup cameras are such a vital safety feature, that all new cars in the U.S. are required to be manufactured with backup cameras (also called rear view cameras). But what if your car didn't come with a backup camera? Since the average car on the road is about 11 years old, chances are it didn't. Fortunately, it is a relatively straightforward process to get a backup camera system installed.
Backup cameras engage as soon as the driver puts the car into reverse. The view from the camera is displayed either on a screen in the dash, an external add-on monitor, or maybe even into a the rearview mirror itself. Backup sensors can also be installed to alert the driver with a beeping sound when an object is getting too close while backing up.
How Blindspot Monitoring/Side Mirror Cameras work from the MyCarDoesWhat.org Campaign
Every car has at least a couple of blindspots and this new technology addresses one of the leading causes of accidents. A blindspot detection system uses sensors placed in varying locations depending on the vehicle but often on the side mirror, or the rear bumper. The sensor system is engaged as soon as the car is turned on and when something appears in one of the blindspots, the system alerts the driver with a flashing indicator in either the side mirror, or the post between your windshield and your window ("A" Pillar"), and it might even make a sound. When the driver uses a turn signal, the system will immediately warn the driver if there is a vehicle or obstruction in a blindspot.
Side mirror cameras go beyond the alert system and actually allow the driver to see what is in their blindspot. These cameras work by expanding the view a driver can see on their backup camera screen to the blindspots on the side of the car. The cameras are installed on the side mirrors of the vehicle and connect to an add on display or a display already available in the car.