Where do I install my backup camera monitor?

Each week 50 children are hit by cars reversing. Forty-eight of those children recover in the emergency room and unfortunately, 2 of the 50 children die in what is an otherwise preventable accident. That means that 2,600 children are hit by vehicles reversing every year and 104 of the children are killed.

So where should you install the backup camera monitor in your car or truck to create the best safety scenario?

There are four common locations to install backup camera monitors:

  • Rearview Mirror Integrated Camera
  • Window Mounted
  • Center Console
  • Left Side of the Dash

Let’s look at the pros and cons of each location.

Rearview Mirror Integrated Camera

Many backup camera manufacturers have started including the backup monitor inside of the rearview mirror. This is a convenient solution because a small hidden monitor allows the operator to see their reverse path. The other great benefit of this design is when the car is turned off, the aftermarket parts are not noticeable. However, there are a few problems with the design.

First, the monitor is usually very small so it is difficult to see which objects are in the path. Secondly, when the screen is on, much of the rearview mirror is obstructed. This means that when using the backup camera, the operator loses function of the rearview mirror and creates the question of “Why have a rearview mirror that doesn’t work when reversing?”

Window Mounted Backup Camera Monitor

Window mounted backup monitors offer great flexibility and allow the monitor to be mounted wherever the driver feels it works the best. This flexibility also works as a negative, as the only way to install the camera on the window reduces the driver’s view. In most states the Obstruction of View Statute is in place, meaning that it is illegal to obstruct a driver’s view.

Many states, like Florida, spell the obstruction-of-view statue out clearly. A window-mounted backup camera monitor’s flexibility is a benefit but, depending on the state regulations, it can be illegal and dangerous.

Center Console Mounted Backup Camera

Most car manufacturers mount the camera in the center console. This a great position when manufacturing the car because the screen is multifunctional: GPS, music display and backup camera display share the same location. The location conveniently hides all wires. The only negative to this location is the difficulty when using it. The vehicle operator must look down at the monitor, which creates a problem because it is difficult to see the backup monitor, side mirrors and the rearview mirror simultaneously.

Many drivers find it confusing when changing
views from the backup camera to the side mirrors in this location. Backup confusion happens when our brain struggles to comprehend what it is seeing. For example, when the backup camera monitor is in the center of the car it is very difficult to see the side mirror and backup camera monitor without moving your head.

When you are watching the backup camera monitor, the left side of the screen is the rear passenger’s side of the car and the right side is the driver’s side of the car. When the driver switches the view to the left rearview mirror everything is opposite. The left side is the driver’s side of the car and the right side is the passenger’s side of the car. It is obvious why this is called “backup confusion”.

Backup Camera Location Left Side Mirror

The most ergonomic location for a backup camera monitor is on the left side of the vehicle’s dash. This location allows the vehicle operator to see the left side mirror and backup camera by only moving their eyes. The ergonomics of this location reduce backup confusion because the operator can see both the mirror and backup monitor at the same time, allowing the brain to correctly interpret what it is seeing.

In summary, there are four key locations on a vehicle where you can install a backup camera monitor. Each location has positive and negative aspects. Overall, the safest and easiest to use location is the dash near the left side mirror. TPC Automation Vehicle Safety sells high-quality backup cameras with large 7-inch monitors. 

Please use the discount code ADAM15 for an additional 15% off.