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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Backup Camera


The Backup Camera

A couple of years ago, we bought a new car.  We bought a big old fancy super duper top of the line luxury SUV.   OK, it’s a Toyota, but still pretty nice and with a bunch of neat features.

Within one month of the purchase Mrs. C put a big dent in the rear bumper.  She put the dent in the bumper by backing up into a small concrete post which was to keep cars from driving through a store window.  

Now if you think I am going to go on a rant about how bad woman drivers are, you are wrong.  First of all I don’t mind a dent in the rear bumper.  The car runs just as well, and there is no paint damage, so it won’t cause rust.  Secondly, Mrs. C is a very good driver.   No, the point of this post is that technology can be dangerous.

The fancy new car came equipped with a backup camera.  A little window on the rear view mirror shows you exactly what is behind you when you back up, and gives a warning “Beep” before you hit anything.  How then did Mrs. C hit the small concrete post?
  
It was the fault of the backup camera.  

Before she had the luxury of a backup camera displaying in the mirror, Mrs. C would drive in reverse with her head turned around to see what was going on behind her.  The fancy new car spoiled her.  She could simply look in the mirror and not have to crane her neck to safely drive in reverse.

WHAM! “WTF? What was that, I didn’t see anything?”

She got out of the car and saw the concrete post that was not displayed by the backup camera because the backup camera apparently has a blind spot.

Is the backup camera in the fancy car worthless?  No, it is helpful, but only if used along with traditional driving in reverse methods.  The backup camera is only useful as a backup to the traditional head turn and one arm steering.

There is a warning on the cars side mirrors, “Objects may be closer than they appear.” I think the backup camera should have a warning, “Objects may be about to smash your rear bumper, do not trust the camera!”

19 comments:

  1. And there was me wishing I had one of those cameras. Reversing for me lately has been worrying. I use hedges to guide me in my driveway - or did until new neighbours cut the lot down. We're on a hill and I'm higher than the neighbours so it's difficult to fix on something as a guide. I'm glad Mrs C didn't incur too much damage to the car.

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  2. I'll bet SD wishes he could have a backup girlfriend - one for the useful stuff and then he could just keep me around for entertainment!

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  3. Those cameras just distract me, i turn and look!

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  4. I watch the one in my girlfriend's car when she is backing out. I want to say "Why aren't you using the side view mirrors, too?", but I don't. Those cameras do have a blind spot. They would never see a toddler approaching from side.

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  5. I find the camera useless as well. Half the year, it's foggy from the salt build up.

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  6. "Too many gadgets", is the precise thing our mechanic once said when some sort of warning light came on and freaked out our Daughter Number One. Had to go and fetch her from the train station, when in fact she could have just driven the car home. I'm somewhat distrustful of "all seeing, all knowing" technology. Radiator fluid low? Really? Let's look, shall we?
    I had a back-up camera on the RV. Didn't trust it.

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  7. I'll be the contrarian here: I like my backup camera. My new car has one and it didn't take me long to like it. My weak spot isn't what's behind me, but what's coming from the left or right as I back up. I'd look left and find all clear, then look right and find all clear, but while I was looking right a car would suddenly appear from my left and honk at me for backing up. Grrr! My car senses approaches cars from the left and right at the same time and beeps politely at me. I'm sold.

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  8. Personally, I try to always arrange my driving life in such a way as to avoid having to back up ever.

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  9. LOL I love what Olga said; I can be the same way. I did back into a garage wall though a few years back by looking behind me too (terrible at depth perception) I could never trust the camera like this. I'm constantly looking back while I'm backing up (yet I did hit that garage wall.....)

    betty

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  10. I so agree. We have a backup camera in our new SUV and hubby still turns around to check out the area before he backs out.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  11. I don't even trust my rear view mirror and always turn to look behind me.

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  12. I rely on my backup camera to much. Mine shows the entire bumper and whats behind it. I have the screen on my dash. Husband on the other hand, doesn't trust it.
    Lisa

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  13. Well, this helps me not be quite so envious of those who have backup cameras. And if we ever do get one I'll remember to turn and look as well. Thanks for the public service announcement!

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  14. Thank you. Now I am no longer envious of those who own cars with backup cameras. I'll stick with my three mirrors, a crick in my neck and be grateful.

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  15. laughing. my car is a stripped down, older honda civic. my neck still turns. :)

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  16. I have to roll down my windows with a crank. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have a camera back there :)

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  17. I have a backup camera, too. I use mostly my Canon, the Nikon comes in handy when the Canon's battery runs out.

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  18. I turned to look, but still put a dent (very, very small, almost miniscule, actually) in the bumper of our old SUV. That's because Office Max has the audacity to encase their light pole in GIGANTIC concrete bases that are lower than the back windshield glass. So you think you're still far enough away from the light pole, when in reality you are against the concrete base. Painting those bases bright yellow does not help if they are below the sight line.

    I wonder how low that camera is...

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  19. We got an SUV a couple of years ago and got the backup camera, and I have to admit I love it. I mostly use it to assure myself the cat has wandered out of the way when I'm backing out of the driveway, but I do try and remember to watch out for cars and people too.

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