check this out.
Blind spot warning
REPORTER: Nicolas Boot
BROADCAST DATE: October 31, 2002
Julie Evans wants cars made with better rear visibility.
Last year 18 children were killed in driveway accidents, with four-wheel drives (4WDs) blamed for most of the deaths. It has been five months since Connor Evans was run over in the family driveway.
Connor, 2, survived with just a broken collarbone and abrasions but his mother, Julie Evans, will never forget that moment.
"He was pinned under the wheel, so there was no sound coming from him and he was looking at me, just to say, 'do something Mum'," she said.
Now groundbreaking research has revealed regular cars are just as bad, if not worse, than 4WDS in that all-important factor - rearward visibility.
In a world-first study, NRMA Insurance tested the reversing visibility of 86 cars and found most of the top sellers in Australia rated poorly, according to Robert McDonald, head of industry research at NRMA Insurance.
The cars were given a rating out of five stars.
"In some ordinary passenger cars it's not possible on a level surface to ever see the ground from the driver's seat," Mr McDonald said.
Small objects, toddlers and children behind the car were found to be obscured from the driver's sight.
And the car with the worst rearward visibility in the NRMA's test was Australia's top-selling sedan, the Holden VX Commodore.
It received no stars, as objects up to 16.8 metres behind it just could not be seen.
The 4WD with the biggest rearward visibility problem was the Toyota Prado, as its blind space was just 15.6m when reversing - it also received a no-star rating.
Mazda's MPV also scored dismally, with a 13.7m blind spot.
Other top sellers with rearward visibility problems included:
The new Honda CRV, with a 9.6m blind spot, rating just half a star.
The 2002 Toyota Camry with spoiler had an 11.6m blind spot and scored 1.5 stars.
Toyota's RAV4 scored 1.5 stars, with a blind spot of 7.9m.
Mitsubishi Magna had a two-star rating 9.7m.
The Ford Falcon BA scored 2.5 stars with a blind spot of 6.4m.
The Toyota Corolla hatch had a 4.6m blind spot, scoring three stars.
"It's largely because of the styling of the car, the position of accessories within the car - in the case of some of the 4WDs, the position of the spare wheels on the back," Mr McDonald said.
According to the NRMA, poor rearward visibility last year caused 12,000 accidents Australia-wide, at a cost of $25 million.
Harold Scruby, from the Pedestrian Council of Australia, hates 4WDs but his list of problem vehicles just got bigger.
"These are the top-selling cars of Australia and you just can't see out the back of them," Mr Scruby said.
"I'm as astonished as you are, because I haven't seen any research like this before."
To Holden's credit, the new model VY Commodore rated 1.5 stars.
So which cars rated best?
Four stars went to:
Renault's Clio Sport, with a blind space of only 2m.
Holden's Barina, 2.6m
Suzuki's Ignis, 2.8m
"Clearly the overriding importance is these companies build into these vehicles the best visibility indexes, not the worst," Mr Scruby said.
Mr Scruby is now calling for manufacturers to lift their game and place less emphasis on styling and more on visibility.
"By having this evidence we can now focus on telling people how dangerous they are and getting governments to respond, by bringing in legislation to change this," he said.
And if you own a car with a poor visibility rating, the NRMA recommends rearward video cameras mounted on the back of the vehicle, which improve visibility.
The complete results of the NRMA's Reversing Visibility Index are at: www.nrma.com.au/reversing
For more information about the Pedestrian Council of Australia, call (02) 9968-4544 or visit www.walk.com.au
What the hell are they talking about "to Holden's credit the new model rated 1.5 stars" 1.5!!! thats doesnt deserve credit!!!! Ford lifted and squared the boot on the BA and still managed to pull out a 2.5 star rating! It seems that for every little thing holden change or improve there are accolades galore from the mainstream press. Thank goodness we have decent press like MOTOR and wheels to provide us with some (usually) unbiased, quality, and accurate information.
As a side note: that big-arse boot sure doesnt help rear vision in the camry.