NHTSA Considering Replacing Car Mirrors with High-Tech Cameras

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced that it is considering replacing the rear and side-view mirrors in vehicles with high-tech camera monitoring systems.

New car technology is hardly surprising today when self-driving cars are more than just a concept but a reality. Likewise, backup cameras are already commonplace in many automobiles. But these cars are still equipped with mirrors in addition to cameras, so the question is: Will drivers be safer without their side and rearview mirrors?

At the Bence Law Firm LLC, our car accident lawyers believe that any safety features that can protect motorists and decrease the number of car accidents on roadways are a good thing. With the right studies, design, testing, and execution, replacing mirrors with cameras could be the next step towards the Alabama Department of Transportation’s Zero Deaths goal.

Pros and Cons of High-Tech Cameras Vs. Mirrors

In 2014, Tesla Inc. and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers asked NHTSA to allow camera monitoring systems in lieu of standard mirrors. Both stated the primary benefit of adopting this new car technology would be to improve fuel efficiency and reduce aerodynamic performance.

However, NHTSA stated that replacing traditional mirrors with cameras could potentially introduce new safety risks. In a five-year study from the agency, researchers found that certain conditions could affect visibility. For example, display screens could be too bright for drivers to detect obstacles on the road at night, and camera lenses could produce warped and distorted images from being obstructed by raindrops.

Even with these potential risks, the NHTSA’s 2017 study on a preliminary version of a camera monitoring system rendered the new technology “generally usable.” It even found that the cameras produced better images and improved driver visibility at dusk and dawn.

What Could This Mean for the Future of Car Accidents?

Many proponents believe that the high rate of car accidents in America could be reduced if NHTSA allows mirrors to be replaced by cameras. According to a recent report from the research-based publication PHYS, “electronic cameras on a vehicle can give a driver a better view than conventional mirrors, eliminating blind spots which can lead to accidents.”

Should We Replace Mirrors with Camera Technology?

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No matter how small an automobile innovation may seem, thorough testing for safety and effectiveness is crucial before mass production. NHTSA is currently seeking research from objective outside sources to find data on the potential safety impacts of replacing car mirrors with camera monitoring systems. Research and testing periods can often take years to process before any changes to auto safety standards can be made.

Contact a Phenix City Car Wreck Lawyer Today

Although innovative car technology is being developed and tested every day, none of them can yet eliminate the dangers posed by human error. If you or someone you love has been injured in a Phenix City car accident due to someone else’s recklessness, you may be eligible to file a legal claim against them for compensation.

At Bence Law Firm LLC, our experienced team of Phenix City car accident attorneys will demand maximum compensation for your injuries, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Call or contact us for a free consultation.