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What is a Car Rear View Camera?

Ever since the invention of the bus and other large vehicles, drivers have been contending with the inability to properly see behind their vehicle as they are backing up or trying to decide how to maneuver. To help with these issues, larger mirrors have been developed and even technology that senses when there is an object close to the rear bumper which causes an audible beep in the car. More recent technological advancements in video technology, however, have given rise to another (final?) solution, which is the rear view camera. It is basically a video camera that is mounted to (or in) the rear bumper of a vehicle and transmits an image to a small monitor or display that the driver can easily see on their dashboard. The technology is still fairly new and novel only luxury-type vehicles and SUVs come with them pre-installed, but for those who don't have the inclination or proper wallet size to afford one of those vehicles, do-it-yourself options are now being sold for installation on any model.

Installation & Use

The various models for the car have different installation methods but generally they can either be set up by plugging them straight into your car's cigarette lighter port or by wiring them directly to the car or truck through the fuse box. The first method is obviously easiest, if you don't mind having a wire dangling from your dash display down to your cigarette lighter. For a better look, if you can follow the instructions and are fairly handy with some common tools, you can get the set wired to your car's systems in a couple of hours. Otherwise, common retail stores that offer car stereo or alarm installation will probably be willing to do it for you for a fee. The camera that sends the signal (usually wirelessly) will also need to be wired. Once the system is installed and the view screen mounted (you may want to play with this a bit, getting used to it before you install it permanently on your dashboard in order to find the best location for you. The system can be set to be on at all times or only when you have the car in reverse. Certain models will also let you choose from a direct or a mirrored view (allowing you to look at the monitor and see the same reverse image you'd see if looking in your mirror).

Insurance Ramifications

As of yet, insurance companies don't seem to be on board with offering discounts in premiums for vehicles equipped with this technology over those that are not. There is still much work to be done in the realm of testing to see whether or not this technology actually make the driving safer and prevent accidents that otherwise would have happened. Once these results become more commonplace and published, if the cameras prove themselves beneficial, you can expect to find auto insurers offering discounts to those whose automobiles are so-equipped.

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