Action 9: Backup cameras vs. car sensors

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:


CHARLOTTE - Awareness groups say an average of 50 children are hurt or killed by backing vehicles each week. Those numbers may have you considering a backup camera or sensor.

Blind zones play a large role in reasons for backup cameras or sensors. A child could be in many areas not able to be seen.

Martha Brown was renting an SUV.

“I drive a Corolla normally, and this car’s so much bigger that it’s hard to see everything because the car’s so big,” Brown said.

As she put the SUV in reverse, a backup camera turned on.

When asked how she rated the camera, Brown said it was “very helpful.”

If considering buying a vehicle and wanting a camera system, do not assume you have to spend big on a luxury car. Many economy cars now have them, such as the Chevy Cruze.

Randy Marion Chevrolet’s Keith Smith said you can get the Chevy Cruze for $18,000, and the camera screen costs an additional $550.

“It’s very inexpensive, especially when you think about what you might save, the life of a child, the life of anybody really,” Smith said.

A Kia Soul can be purchased for the same price. For those not searching for a new vehicle, many dealerships and stores offer “aftermarket” backup cameras.

Best Buy offers cameras for between $54 and $142. O’Reilly Auto Parts price is around $125. Tabibrothers features cameras that cost between $79 and $300. Those that will install charge an extra $75 or so.

Susan Auriemma with Kids and Cars says that’s a cost worth spending. Jason Stoogenke spoke with Auriemma via Skype.

“My 3 and a-half year old daughter darted out of my home after deciding that she wanted to go with me on an errand and ran behind my car as I was backing out of my driveway,” said Auriemma.

Her daughter survived, and Auriemma joined the safety awareness group “Kids and Cars.”

This kind of incident doesn’t discriminate between good parents and bad parents. It’s about a lack of visibility. And you can’t avoid hitting what you can’t see.”

That’s why Brown would like a camera in her Toyota Corolla when she returns her rental car.

Most people think of backup cameras with the big screen as part of the navigation system. Many aftermarket ones are part of your rearview mirror, which consumer reports say are better than nothing.

If not interested in buying a backup camera, you may be interested in a backup sensor. It beeps when the car senses an object. Consumer reports say sensors do not pick up on moving objects as well as stationary ones, and some struggle in bad weather.