Humans are actually rare among animals in that we have both eyes on the front of our heads, facing the same direction. The only other animals that have that trait are carnivorous mammals, primates, and birds of prey. Everything else – fish, herbivores, reptiles – has a different setup of eyes, often one eye on either side of the head.
Now, having eyes positioned like we humans do has some distinct advantages – notably depth perception. But it also comes with a trade-off: we have a much narrower field of vision. To make up the difference while reversing, we can do frequent head checks, or use mirrors that are liable to distort distances. But there’s now a better solution: rear vision cameras.
Rear vision cameras, also known as reversing cameras, are technology’s answer to our limited 190-degree vision. With a rear vision camera, it’s possible to see what’s happening behind your car while you reverse, without having to turn your head or rely on mirrors. This compensates for the human blind spots and brings us closer to having the sort of complete, 360-degree vision found in many types of birds.
The advantages of having an increased field of vision should be obvious. With a reversing camera kit, you no longer have to take your eyes away from the road in order to check out what’s behind you. Reversing cameras also have another advantage that is found in several non-human animals: night vision. Reversing in the dark can be extremely difficult, especially when the headlights of other cars are blindingly bright. But a rear vision camera operates perfectly well at night, giving you a good view of what’s behind you no matter the light conditions. And (unlike animals with eyes on either side of their heads), you don’t have to sacrifice depth perception. In fact, reversing camera kits often involve monitors with markings to help improve your depth perception, making reversing even safer.