New figures from insurer NRMA this week show that the carmakers in the Australian market are slowly embracing the need for reversing cameras, with eight percent of the 218 tested vehicles fitted with cameras - up from five percent in last year's tests.
Collected as part of the 2010 NRMA Reversing Visibility Index, the results also showed that all Australian-built large family vehicles are now fitted with reversing cameras as either standard or optional equipment.
Despite the progress, NRMA spokesperson Rober McDonald said the number of suitably-equipped vehicles is still too low.
“Although we have seen an increase in the adoption of reversing camera technology, 13 per cent of cars tested still scored a zero rating," Mr McDonald said.
“This comes with further research showing that 60 per cent of NSW drivers admitted to having a near miss while reversing, which is a confronting insight into the dangers of not having adequate visibility when reversing."
Mr McDonald said that while many consider low reversing visibility to be a problem limited to high-set vehicles, a significant proportion of the index's zero-rated were sedans.
Speaking with TMR, Mazda Australia Public Relations Manager Steve Maciver said that rearward visibility has not been raised as a concern by owners of either the Mazda3 or Mazda 6, or "for that matter, owners of any Mazda vehicle".
"Mazda takes both occupant and pedestrian safety very seriously and this is demonstrated by the large number of both active and passive safety features available across the whole Mazda range," Mr Maciver said.
"As part of Mazda’s product development process, safety continues to be high on the list. As such, we will continue to look at any further opportunities to improve safety in future models through the integration of new technologies."
NRMA Insurance Reversing Visibility Index
This Index has been developed to encourage drivers to compare the safety design features of vehicles.
This measure takes into account the visible area and distance across the rear of the vehicle and whether cameras and sensors have been installed. Results are rated on a scale of zero to five-stars, with a rating of five indicating better reversing visibility than all other vehicles.