Tuesday October 25th, 2011 22:55 How Cameras Are Revolutionising Reversing

Car reversing cameras are becoming one of the hottest high-tech gadgets in the automotive industry, and it’s not just families who are flocking to the technology. Empty nesters in their RVs and mobile homes, truckies and tradies alike are embracing the safety and cost benefits of either buying a vehicle with a factory fitted unit or purchasing an after market system. Either way, you can’t go wrong with a reversing camera, which have the potential to save lives and even save you from having to claim on your car insurance.

How they work and what they cost

Reversing cameras are quite simple in the way they work. A small camera is installed at the appropriate height at the back of a vehicle and is connected via wire – or even wireless – to an LCD screen, which is usually attached at a convenient spot on the windscreen or dash, or in the case of factory fitted units, built into the console. As with all technology, you get what you pay for. A basic after market camera with a small screen is going to cost just over $100, but top of the range models which can be fitted to the rear vision mirror can cost around $600. The screen comes in a range of sizes, clarity and perspective – the cameras can take some getting used to as they usually have a very wide angle lense. It will cost a few dollars to have a unit installed as well.

Potential life savers

It’s young families and the makers of cars aimed at this segment of the automotive market that are responsible for the boom in reversing cameras. More and more cameras are coming fitted to family cars as standard, especially as the surge in sales of SUVs shows no signs of slowing. Cameras are most often fitted to wagons and larger SUVs and 4WDs because of their height and size, meaning it is hard to see a small child behind the vehicle. Kids can dash out when drivers least expect it as well, meaning a reversing camera is going to catch them better than any rear vision mirrors. While built-in cameras are usually found in higher spec models, expect them to become more prevalent in basic models before too long.

Preventing bumps and scrapes

Despite the obvious safety benefits of a reversing camera, they can also save you embarrassment and money when it comes to backing a vehicle. Reverse parking is something we are all taught while learning to drive, but it is often a forgotten skill as drivers prefer to find a traditional parking spot which they can drive in to front on. Cameras are bringing back reverse parking, especially when they are coupled with reverse sensors. They give drivers confidence to tackle trickier parking spots by helping to eliminate the worries of hitting another car and causing damage. So it’s worth checking with an insurer if you are searching for car insurance quotes if there is any discount for a camera system.

RVs, trailers and truckies

The benefits of a reversing camera to bigger and longer vehicles far outweigh the costs of installing one. Empty nesters with their RVs, caravans and mobile homes simply couldn’t do without them as they are constantly backing into caravan sites and tight spots in town. The cameras can be mounted on trailers and caravans as well, making them invaluable for holidaymakers, truckies and tradies who are always reversing into specific spots that require precision and patience. Just remember, don’t rely only on the reversing camera. There is no substitute for a second pair of eyes outside the vehicle who can help guide you into tough spots.

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