New car designs with low roofs and high trunks offer a sleek appearance, but they can cause drivers to have difficulty seeing out the back window. This poor visibility creates a big blind zone that can be dangerous and even deadly if you're not careful when backing up.
Every year, children are injured and killed because drivers (parents and relatives in 70 percent of cases) don't see them while backing up. According to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit group that works to improve child safety around cars, at least 50 children are backed over every week in the United States.
The problem is that larger vehicles are very popular, and they tend to have larger blind zones. Blind zones in vehicles can range from 12 feet for small vehicles to over 50 feet for a pickup. Without a backup camera, this can cause a driver to not see a child or an obstacle behind the vehicle.
You don't have to buy a high-end car to get a backup camera. Most vehicles now offer a camera as an option and some included a camera as standard equipment, as with the Honda CR-V.
Take a look at our video to see how dangerous these blind zones can be. Check out our blind-zone list by vehicle type to see how your car fares.
Best & worst for visibility
The danger of blind zones
2012 New Car Preview
Best and worst used cars
Complete Ratings for 200 cars and trucks
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