Vehicle Backup Cameras

September 5, 2019

I got a new-to-me Buick Encore about 6 months ago. When I saw it on the car lot, the pretty bright blue called to me. It had several features that previous vehicles of mine hadn’t had; one of those features being a backup camera.

I have had a hard time getting used to it. Truth be told, I’m still not used to it. For some reason, even if I am looking at the backup camera screen, I feel very strange backing up without turning my head to actually look at what’s behind me or looking in my rear view mirror. When I stop to think about it, there’s not much difference between a rear view mirror and a backup camera. Using either one calls upon you to trust it and backup without turning around to actually look out the window.

Yesterday I was parked in front of a store, and the store parking lot is on a rather steep incline. As I started to backup I looked into my rear view mirror and didn’t see anything. And as I started to back up, I heard that awful, undeniable, not-like-any-other-sound of metal hitting metal. I immediately hit the brakes, although, of course, it was too late to avoid hitting whatever it was that I hit. My first thought was there must have been a short pole in the parking lot since I didn’t see anything in the mirror.

When I got out of my car to look though, it wasn’t a little pole I had backed into. It was a full-sized vehicle. A 2011 Nissan Altima. The owner of the car had parked it at the bottom of the parking lot, close to the street; so when I looked into my rear view mirror, because of the parking lot slant, the car was not visible in my rear view mirror. To make it worse, if anything could be worse than hitting a parked car, the owner had parked it there with a For Sale sign on it. Now they were going to have to repair it before they could even sell it. I felt horrible.

I called the number on the sign and said I was calling regarding the Altima parked at Martigoni’s Glass. She said, ‘Oh, yes,” in a very upbeat voice. I knew she was probably thinking I was calling with interest in buying it and wanted to save her disappointment, so very quickly said, “Don’t be happy. I just backed into it.” After a moment of silence, she said, “Well, these things happen. That’s why they call them accidents.” If you’ve ever been involved in an accident, it is definitely a blessing to deal with someone with this gracious attitude.

Calls to insurance companies have been made, and I take my car in on Monday for repairs. I hope all goes quickly and smoothly for the other party too.

But my point today is this….. IF you have a backup camera and don’t use it, it might be a good idea to try to get used to it. If I had looked at that screen, I would have seen the car. And, well, I should also mention that I have a friend visiting from out of state and we were yacking away. So was I a distracted driver too? Gosh, it’s hard to say, but… yeah, maybe.

But don’t you think my Buick took the hit better than the Nissan?

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20 Comments

  1. Deanna

    Ah, so sorry Karen. My new car has one of those back up cameras also and I am having a hard time trusting it too.

    Reply
  2. Pssequimages

    Yes, but, —you really cannot ALWAYS trust the screen either. Screen first—left and right over your shoulder screen again T H E N …. I can better you that. I pulled out of my garage with the LIFT GATE OPEN. Did a number on the car, even crushing the sunroof area and making it so the gate wouldn’t close at all—-THEN the back up camera wouldn’t work at all AT ALL. The lift gate hit the top of the garage door but didn’t do any damage to the door or the house…strangely. But car all fixed now, and yours soon will be. So very glad you had a reasonable person to deal with.

    Reply
  3. Barbara Barker

    Awww, I’m sorry….these things can be so upsetting but thankful no injuries!!

    Reply
  4. Lynn Hoyt

    Speaking as a professional driver for many years, semi’s, buses ect. Always do both, look turning your head and use the back up camera as well. They are quite nice, but still. So glad it all was so civil, makes it a tad easier. And yes, your new car took it quite well. Hugs

    Reply
  5. DeLoris Musick

    You have 1 tough car! Beat your chest!!! WhooRah! Well, the main thing is no one was hurt. It is good the lady had a nice attitude about it, that always helps. I hope you don’t have to wait to long to get your car back.

    Reply
  6. Carolyn

    I have a new car with a backup camera also. I have had a hard time getting used to it but find now I use it as well as turning my head and looking just in case. Glad the person you hit was so nice about it!

    Reply
  7. Nancy Kizziah

    This is one of those few times we are thankful for insurance. I have a backup camera and sometimes I think I trust it too much. How much should we trust ourselves or any of our resources? I’m glad you had a person involved that you could deal with amicably. Have a good day. Yes I think your car took the hit better.

    Reply
  8. Renee

    Oh dear that’s not good, but you know what they say ‘it could have been worse’. I’m sure glad it wasn’t any worse and that you and your friend are okay. It’s taken me a long time to get used to my back up camera too. I tend to use it in easy situations but seem to always want to trun my whole body around and look out my back window when I am in a tight spot. LOL!!

    Reply
  9. lisar

    hah! i got an Enclave 2 years ago after NEVER having even close to a new car my entire driving career. and yes, it took me some time to really get used to that camera BUT i live in the city and it’s ever so handy in parallel parking. AND, as you say … is EXTREMELY handy for seeing things out of range of any of the mirrors .. small children come to mind! so, my method is … scan mirrors first (rearview and sideviews) and then use the backup camera for backing up. it’s an adjustment and i forget at times but it’s really handy and a great invention!

    Reply
  10. Paula McCarthy

    omg…I got a “new to me” Ford Escape about 4 months ago with same type of camera and a host of other things that I am still not used to, so I totally empathize…I also do not trust said camera so, I do check it, but my mind doesn’t believe it and I still look over my shoulder….decades of practice….old dog – arf, arf, arf, and those darn “new tricks” ….I am trying, it just takes twice as long to back out of my driveway and parking places now…..you got lucky with that injured vehicle owner too! Hope all goes well with your repairs.

    Reply
    • Karen

      HI Paula, Yes, I was absolutely fortunate that the vehicle owner was so gracious! In the days post the accident, I have noticed that I do look in the rear view mirror, my side mirrors, and turn my head. I hate to say it, but I think “distracted driver” was definitely involved in this accident. 🙁

      Reply

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