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Don’t turn a blind eye to reversing safety

27 July 2005

Media Release

Don’t turn a blind eye to reversing safety

State, New Zealand’s largest motor insurer, has released the country’s first reversing visibility index in the hope it will help prevent children getting hurt in driveway accidents.

The State Reversing Visibility Index reveals that all makes and vehicle types have hazardous reversing blind areas.

Three children have died in driveway accidents in New Zealand in the past ten months. One child is admitted to Auckland’s Starship hospital every fortnight with injuries from driveway accidents.

The index 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 scale of zero to five stars, with a rating of five indicating better visibility that all other vehicles.

State’s research produced some surprising results:

- Only one of 204 vehicles tested was awarded the top five star rating

- 4WDs rated better than a lot of family sedans

- All cars have a reversing blind spot unless they are fitted with a rear vision camera

The Lexus GS 430 received the five star rating. The car features both front and back sensors and a camera that allows the driver to monitor behind the bumper bar.

Shaun Hickey of State said that even with a camera installed, there is often no substitute for driver awareness, holding a child’s hand or holding them close to ensure they are safe near driveways.

“Improved driver behaviour and increased responsibility by parents and carers of children are important factors in reducing death and injury,” he said.

“We’d encourage people to think of driveways as a high risk area where children need supervision.”

The full results of State’s reversing visibility index are available at

The five best scoring vehicles:

Ranking Vehicle Class Test object invisible area (m2) Star rating
1 Lexus GS 430 with sensors and camera Luxury 0.0 5
2 Mazda MX-5 Sports 2.2 4.5
3 BMW Z4 Sports 3.4 4
4 Renault Clio Sport 182 Small 4.0 4
5 Holden Barina Small 4.8 4

Vehicles that scored zero stars:

Ranking Vehicle Class Test object invisible area (m2) Star rating
198 Holden Commodore (sedan) Large 27.0 0
198 Toyota Prado 4WD 27.0 0
198 Honda Odyssey People Mover 27.0 0
198 Mercedes CLK500 Luxury 27.0 0
198 Holden Crewman Van/ute 27.0 0
198 Land Rover Discovery 4WD 27.0 0


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