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Backup Cameras, Good or Bad?

This is a very hot topic amongst many drivers and while it is interesting to hear what everyone has to say on this subject, as a certified Driving Instructor in Burnaby I will give you my reasons for why you should NOT use a back-up camera.

First, I want to specify that I don't think backup cameras are bad. In fact, they can be very helpful when used in a safe and reasonable manner. The problem arises when people focus solely on the backup camera when they are reversing out of a parking stall or out of their driveways. Bad!!

One of the first things we learned as new drivers is to be aware of our blind spots. Blind spots are located on the sides of our car, behind our car and even in front of our car. Whenever you reverse, your eyes should not be focused in on the screen and instead your eyes and head should be moving from side to side, back and front.

The first thing we need to do when we put our car in reverse is a 360° check. What this means is that we need to physically turn our head to look out the back of the car to the left and then look out the back of the car to the right. Why? There have been numerous cases where people have ran over objects such as children's toys and in many unfortunate cases even their children and grandchildren. (Click on 'grandchildren' to read an article.)

While these unfortunate accidents do occur, we can prevent them by taking precautions such as the 360° check before we reverse. Another smart thing to do if you are backing out of your drive way is to do a walk around your vehicle before you get in. Many of you may already do this but what is the point if once you get in and start reversing, you'll only be paying attention to your backup camera. You should look out the back of your car as you reverse just like this lovely lady in the image below and I will explain why.

A backup camera can only tell you what is directly behind your vehicle and only to a certain degree. It does not tell you what is coming from either side of you. If and when you reverse out of your driveway at home or a parking stall at the mall, relying on the backup camera is a foolish thing to do because you are at risk of getting hit from another vehicle or risk hitting a pedestrian. You will not see them coming because the camera does not stretch out that far.

Imagine this: you are reversing out of your driveway and little Jenny from down the street is riding her bike on the sidewalk as quick as her little legs will let her because she is on her way to meet Dennis and Sid down the street. At what point do you think you will see little Jenny on her bike? If you do the 360° are looking out the back window as you reverse like the lady above is, you will see her coming from a distance and will be able to safely stop and let her ride on by. If you are using your back-up camera and not looking out the back window, you will still see Jenny...once you hit her.

If I put you in a not so good mood with this post, I do apologize but you may thank me one day!

Visit our "Contact Us" page for information on where you can send Thank You cards and flowers.

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