Technology continues to make cars safer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Technology continues to make cars safer

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Lee County--  Georgia Insurance Agents are excited about back up cameras, saying they could be life savers.

Cameras on the rear that show drivers what's behind them are available on more cars, and could become standard equipment in the future.

The Toyota Landcruiser is a big SUV, with a big blind spot in the rear. But thanks to a back up camera, that blind spot is easily seen by the driver in the video screen next to the steering wheel.

Fairway Toyota General Manager Mike Blanchard said, "We're beginning to see some people who ask for it, on an irregular basis."

In 2003, 228 children were killed in the United States, when vehicles backed over them. Back up cameras could prevent many of those deaths. "We've seen so many instances where small children are run over by a parent, a grandparent. A very sad situation because they did not realize the child was there," said Georgia Insurance Information Services spokesman David Colmans.

The Georgia Insurance Information Service recommends cars with rear end cameras or sensing devices to warn motorists of something behind them. "Not only can you see directly behind you, but in experiments we have run you can see actually people to the side of the bumper, so you have a very good panoramic view," Colmans said.

Back up cameras are available in many high dollar, large cars now, but are expected to become more common. Blanchard said "I think as the awareness gets higher in the public, there will be more demand for it."

Having a car equipped with a back up camera will not lower your insurance rates now, but agents say their preventing accidents and deaths will keep costs down.

The back up camera option in most cars is around two thousand dollars. Colmans said if you don't own one, walking behind your car and honking the horn a couple of times before backing is a cheap alternative.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com