Rearview Cameras Recommended in NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program

The addition of this technology as a recommended feature is intended to encourage more drivers to choose vehicles equipped with it. NHTSA is still working on a rear visibility rule.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is adding rearview video systems to the list of recommended features under its New Car Assessment Program, the agency announced Sept. 24. The move will encourage drivers to choose vehicles equipped with them, even as NHTSA continue to research the implementation of a rear visibility rule.

"Through today's action we hope to encourage consumers to take advantage of this advanced technology feature that can help save lives," said NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland. "As drivers rely on these systems, they should remain vigilant especially in situations where pedestrians, bicyclists and children may be present."

"As we've seen with other features in the past, adding rearview video systems to our list of recommended safety features will encourage both automakers and consumers to consider more vehicles that offer this important technology," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. "While adding this technology to our list of safety features is important, I remain committed to implementing the rear visibility rule, as well."

The New Car Assessment Program is familiar to Americans from its 5-Star Safety Ratings. It informs consumers about vehicles that have NHTSA's Recommended Advanced Technology Features, which can help drivers avoid crashes and reduce other safety risks. NHTSA's announcement said starting Sept. 24, it began to identify on vehicle models that have rearview video systems. In order to be so listed, the rearview image must:

  • Cover the 20-foot by 10-foot zone directly behind the vehicle;
  • Be displayed within two seconds after the reverse direction is selected; and
  • Be large enough to enable the driver to make judgments about the objects in the image and avoid a crash with those objects.

The announcement said rearview video systems are replacing Electronic Stability Control as a Recommended Advanced Technology Feature on because ESC is now standard on all new vehicles. Forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems will continue to be featured on the site, as vehicle manufacturers continue to include these systems in more and more new models.

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