Back-up cameras and sensors – is it time to include them in your vehicle selector?
June 28, 2012
By Jamie Casella, Product Manager, PHH Risk and Safety
As you plan for the fall buy, it’s a good time to take a closer look at optional safety equipment for your vehicle selector. You’ll need to decide whether to include back-up cameras and sensors. Here are a few facts you should know:
Making rearview cameras mandatory is on the government’s radar screen
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are 228 fatalities and around 17,000 injuries each year in backover accidents involving cars, trucks and SUVs. Nearly half of the fatalities are children.
To decrease these alarming statistics, federal regulators have been considering a rule that would require automakers to put rearview cameras in all passenger vehicles by 2014 to help drivers see what is behind them. However, NHTSA postponed its final rule to expand rear visibility requirements in cars; the final standards are now anticipated by December 31, 2012. This, of course, is after the presidential election, which could possibly have an effect on NHTSA’s priorities, depending on who wins.
How well does this equipment work?
In a summary of various studies about the effectiveness of back-up cameras and sensors, NHTSA concluded that 50-80% percent of drivers will respond appropriately when given a warning of an impending crash or, when using a camera system, will look at the monitor and not back into objects because of the monitor.
Fleets are investing in these safety options
Investing in these technologies does have some cost implications for fleets, as NHTSA estimates that adding a backup camera to a vehicle without an existing visual display screen will probably cost $159 to $203 per vehicle. That number shrinks to between $58 and $88 for vehicles that already use display screens.
PHH conducted a U.S. Fleet Policy Survey in 2011 where we asked the following question: “Are you investing in factory equipped safety options (e.g., back-up cameras/sensors, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, etc.)?” Out of 107 respondents, 37 companies (35%) invest in factory-equipped safety options, of which 28 companies (76%) specified back-up cameras or alarms/sensors.
Your MY2013 vehicle selector. Talk with your PHH Account Team to discuss your specific fleet needs. We’ll help you analyze whether it makes sense to include back-up cameras and sensors for the upcoming model year. If you subscribe to our Vehicle Accident Services, we may be able to take a look at your own crash data for trend information to help in the decision-making.
The importance of driver training. Driver awareness and safety training are key components in reducing your crashes and incidents related to backovers. Talk with PHH about what we can do to help you in this area – whether you decide to purchase the safety equipment or not.