Feds Require Cars Have Rear Cameras After 2018 Because We Can't Back Up

Love 'em or hate 'em, now you have no choice. Rearview cameras are now required in any new vehicle less than 10,000 pounds, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announces today.

Any vehicle manufactured after May 1, 2018 is required to have a camera that shows a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. NHTSA will also have other requirements for image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation.

NHTSA says there are 210 deaths and 15,000 injuries annually caused by backover crashes, with children under five and adults over 70 making up the bulk of victims.

I don't know about anyone else, but I foresee backup cameras becoming too much of a crutch. Like everyone else who's ever operated a motor vehicle, the sideview mirrors and rear windshield has worked for me just fine. Add in the cameras, and I can see a bunch of people using only the backup camera and not looking around them when backing up.

That said, I've spent too many times in Target parking lots (before you point a finger at me, I always park far away) where I've seen some close calls between too-energetic kids and minivan bumpers. Sure, it'll help some people. I just don't know if it'll help everyone.

Photo via GM