Keeping Car Backup Cameras & Sensors Clean in the Winter | Scott Goodwin Law

Keeping Car Backup Cameras & Sensors Clean in the Winter

by / Wednesday, 07 December 2022 / Published in Motor Vehicle Accidents, Tips
The side mirror of a car being driven on a snowy road.

We’ve come a long way in terms of improving the safety of cars. It wasn’t all that long ago that backup cameras were considered a new, cutting edge feature, and now they’re standard on new vehicles.  Plus new cars often come with several other advanced safety features, such as automatic emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning (FCW), lane keeping assistance, and blind spot sensors. All of these features go a long way in helping drivers stay safe on the road, but during the winter months, it’s important to make sure your backup camera and safety sensors are kept clear so that they can work effectively. 

Backup cameras can very easily end up being covered with snow, blocked by a piece of ice, or get covered with dirt and slush, making them very difficult to use. With other safety systems, they may not be able to accurately read lane markings or judge the distance between your car and other vehicles on the road. In some cases, sensors that are too dirty may cause systems to completely shut down. Winter driving is already challenging enough – what can you do to make sure your cameras and sensors will be able to help you?

Know Where to Look

Every car is different, so it’s important to check your car’s manual to learn more about the exact placement of the camera and safety sensors on your vehicle so that you know where to focus on cleaning. Generally speaking, clearing snow and ice off your car as thoroughly as possible is the best approach to this because sensors can be located throughout the vehicle. 

Not only does this help keep your sensors and camera clear, it’s in line with what Michigan law requires of drivers. Section 257.677a of the Michigan Vehicle Code states that a person shall not deposit, or cause to be deposited, snow, ice or slush on any roadway or highway in a manner which obstructs the safety vision of the driver of a motor vehicle or onto the roadway/shoulder in general. We’ve all seen that person driving around with a car covered in snow with only their windows cleared off. This is very dangerous since it can not only send snow falling onto the roadway or blowing into the view of other drivers, it can interfere with the car’s safety features. 

Cleaning Cameras & Sensors

Keeping your car’s cameras and sensors clean isn’t difficult. An easy way to go about it is to regularly take your car for a trip to your local car wash so that you get rid of all the stuff that can block your cameras and sensors and make your car look dirty in general. If a trip to the car wash isn’t possible, using a non-abrasive, automotive safe cleaner and a cloth to clean the sensors and cameras will do the trick. If you’re planning a winter road trip, you may want to make sure you’ll be ready if your car starts getting dirty along the way.

When to Take it to the Shop

In some cases, you might do everything you can to keep your car’s backup camera clean, but still have problems with picture clarity. If you’re seeing condensation or your camera is out of focus, you may want to have a mechanic take a look to see if there are any problems like cracks that let moisture in or issues with connections within the camera. 

Contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

Driving in winter weather can be tough. If other drivers aren’t careful on the road, it’s very easy for others to get hurt. If you’ve been injured in a crash, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer. Talking to a lawyer will give you a chance to get answers to any questions you might have about your situation and learn more about how the law applies to your situation. At Goodwin & Scieszka, we’re experienced in helping the victims of car accidents in the state of Michigan. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

Image: Pexels / Thomas H.