In 2008, there were 141 deaths and 12,000 injuries as a result of backing up accidents. There were also 183,000 instances of vehicular or property damage.
As the popularity of backup cameras has increased, these numbers have gone down slightly. The best way to get these numbers down even further is to ensure that everybody knows how to use rearview cameras properly.
If you're a fleet manager that wants to keep people and your property safe, keep reading. We'll give you a few tips to help you and your drivers avoid backup accidents by using rearview mirror backup cameras.
1. Don't Rely on Them Completely
The most important thing that you have to keep in mind for the safety of those around you is that a backup camera does not give you the ability to see everything that's behind you. It has limitations.
By keeping these limitations in mind, using your mirrors, and turning to check your blindspots, your drivers will be far safer while backing up. Most backup cameras only offer 80 degrees of sight at the back of vehicles, leaving many other areas in the dark.
Remind your drivers that when in doubt, they should only trust human eyes. This could mean getting out and actually looking behind the vehicle or having someone help direct from behind so that there are no accidents.
2. Know Your Vehicles
All of your drivers should know their vehicles inside and out. This is important for several reasons.
First and foremost, a driver should already have in mind how much space they have around them as they maneuver their vehicles into tight spaces. Knowing this will help them rely less on the camera and more on their driving abilities.
Drivers will also need to know their overall vehicle dimensions so they know when they're not going to be able to fit somewhere, saving drivers time and effort.
As the fleet owner, you are ultimately responsible for properly equipping your drivers so they can drive safely. To purchase the right camera for your vehicles, you need to know the vehicles themselves first.
3. Have the Right Camera for the Vehicle
We already mentioned this, but let's get into some more details about it. You need to make sure you have the right camera for the type of vehicle in your fleet since not all backup cameras are created equally.
For cars and smaller vehicles, the primary focus of a rearview camera is to allow the driver to see below the back window and to the sides of the car. Many accidents occur when children and objects shorter than the level of that window are unseen by the driver's rearview mirror.
Vans, trucks, and other vehicles that offer limited or no view of what's behind the vehicle will require a different type of camera. These cameras will allow drivers to see everything from the ground up that's behind the vehicle.
You also need to make sure the cameras are installed in the correct position. Backup cameras for smaller vehicles are most often installed lower on the vehicle. They're sometimes in the bumper or near the license plate.
On larger vehicles, cameras may need to be installed higher up to provide a better view of the entire space behind the vehicle. They may also need to have more than one camera to expand the coverage area.
4. Understand the Backup Cameras
Each driver should have a full understanding of how the cameras work. This is important because each one has different ways of operating. Let's look at the two main things that your drivers need to understand.Alarm
The first thing that's important to understand is the backup alarm if the camera has one. Your drivers need to know at what point it starts beeping and how those beeps may change based on distance from an object.Lines
Most backup cameras have lines on the monitors. The lines help guide drivers by showing how far the back of the vehicle is from other objects.
They may also change colors to warn drivers when they're getting too close to objects which is something else drivers need to be aware of.
5. Keep Cameras Clean
Once a camera is properly installed and your fleet drivers know how to use them properly, you will need to do a few things to ensure they stay in good working condition and are able to help your drivers. The first thing is to keep them clean. When cameras don't stay clean, they can cause a distorted view. Dangerous conditions can also be caused by dirty cameras that prevent a clear view of the back of the vehicle. To keep cameras clean, use a soft cloth, like microfiber, to carefully clean debris from the camera lens. Use electronic-safe glass cleaner as well. If you notice any cracks in the camera, avoid getting it wet.
6. Add Moisture Repellent
Something else that can cause the image to become blurry is moisture. Most often, this occurs during rainy or snowy conditions. To prevent this, you can add a moisture repellent to the camera lens.
There are a variety of hydrophobic coatings available, so choose one that's compatible with camera lenses. These will cause the moisture to run off of the camera lens instead of staying behind to cause blurriness.
7. Create a Camera Maintenance Schedule
You need to think of your backup cameras as part of your fleet's equipment. As such, it should be carefully maintained to ensure each camera is in good working order. If you already have a maintenance schedule, simply add cameras to it.
Look through the manufacturer's recommendations to determine what type of maintenance your camera needs. You may also choose to inspect cameras before every trip to ensure they're always in good working order.
Need Backup Cameras for Your Fleet?
Now you know several ways to use backup cameras to ensure they're effective and keep everyone safe. As you can see, they can also prevent property or vehicle damage which can help you lower your overhead costs.