NHTSA Adds Backup Cameras to List of Recommended Safety Technologies


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced today that it will add rearview video systems to its list of recommended features under its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The addition to the list of Recommended Advanced Technology Features was made to encourage improved rearview visibility for the nation’s motor vehicle fleet and help prevent backover accidents while NHTSA researches implementation of a rear visibility rule.

“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,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “While adding this technology to our list of safety features is important, I remain committed to implementing the rear visibility rule as well.”

NHTSA’s NCAP program – widely known for its 5-Star Safety Ratings – highlights for consumers the vehicle makes and models that are equipped with the agency’s Recommended Advanced Technology Features that can help drivers avoid crashes and reduce other safety risks. Through the combination of safer vehicles, walkable communities, smart roadway designs, increased public awareness, and working with industry and federal, state and local partners, the Department hopes to reduce deaths and injuries.

NHTSA will be including rearview video systems into the NCAP program in two phases. First, starting today, the agency will begin to identify on www.safercar.gov vehicle models that have rearview video systems. Next, as soon as the agency is able to verify that the vehicle model has a rearview video system meeting certain basic criteria, the agency will recognize those vehicle models as having this Recommended Advanced Technology Feature on www.safercar.gov. In order to be included as a Recommended Advanced Technology Feature, 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.

Rearview video systems will replace Electronic Stability Control as a Recommended Advanced Technology Feature on www.safercar.gov, as the latter technology is now standard on all new vehicles. Forward collision warning (FCW) and lane departure warning (LDW) systems will continue to be featured on the site. Since NHTSA began promoting these technologies, automakers have responded by integrating FCW and LDW into their fleets. LDW systems were available in 51 vehicles in model year 2011, 69 vehicles in model year 2012 and are now available in 124 vehicles in model year 2013. FCW systems were available in 50 vehicles in model year 2011, 79 vehicles in model year 2012 and are now available in 167 vehicles in model year 2013.

“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.”

To help prevent future deaths and injuries, especially those involving small children, NHTSA offers these important safety tips.

Click here for the pre-publication version of the final decision notice on Rearview Video Systems and NCAP.