Context: Backing crash injures can be severe; approximately 200 of the 2,500 reported injuries of this type per year to children under the age of 15 years result in death. Technology for assisting drivers when backing has limited success in preventing backing crashes.
Objectives: Two questions are addressed: Why is the reduction in backing crashes moderate when rear-view cameras are deployed? Could rear-view cameras augment sensor systems?
Design: 46 drivers (36 experimental, 10 control) completed 16 parking trials over 2 days (eight trials per day). Experimental participants were provided with a sensor camera system, controls were not. Three crash scenarios were introduced.
Setting: Parking facility at UMass Amherst, USA.
Subjects: 46 drivers (33 men, 13 women) average age 29 years, who were Massachusetts residents licensed within the USA for an average of 9.3 years. Interventions Vehicles equipped with a rear-view camera and sensor system-based parking aid.
Main outcome measures: Subject's eye fixations while driving and researcher's observation of collision with objects during backing.
Results: Only 20% of drivers looked at the rear-view camera before backing, and 88% of those did not crash. Of those who did not look at the rear-view camera before backing, 46% looked after the sensor warned the driver.
Conclusions: This study indicates that drivers not only attend to an audible warning, but will look at a rear-view camera if available. Evidence suggests that when used appropriately, rear-view cameras can mitigate the occurrence of backing crashes, particularly when paired with an appropriate sensor system.