• Buick is adding standard backup cameras on all 2015 models
  • The GM brand says the decision will improve safety, convenience
  • NHTSA rules say all cars must have cameras by May 2018

As of the 2015 model year, all new Buick models will include backup cameras as standard equipment. That's the latest from the upscale General Motors brand, which says the newly standard backup cameras will improve safety for drivers, other road users and even pedestrians.

According to General Motors, the decision to add standard backup cameras came after a 2013 University of Michigan study found that such cameras significantly reduce the risk of backing-up crashes. Such crashes are surprisingly frequent and can range from simple property damage to potentially catastrophic results, such as backing over a small child or hitting a pedestrian.

Buick says the cameras will also help improve driver convenience, since they provide a wide view behind each vehicle. Shoppers won't have to strain themselves to see what's directly behind them, as the camera will provide that information on a screen located in each car's center control stack.

While Buick's commitment to safety is admirable, the automaker's decision to add backup cameras to each of its vehicles is one that every automaker will soon have to repeat. The federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently mandated that all new cars must include cameras by May 2018. In essence, Buick's decision to provide the cameras by the 2015 model year just means that they're ahead of the game.

Still, safety-minded shoppers will appreciate the cameras and the Buick lineup's commitment to safety, which is reflected in the fact that all five of its current models received a 5-star NHTSA overall crash-test rating. The automaker also offers a long list of available safety technology, ranging from lane-departure warning to rear cross-traffic alert, a blind spot monitoring system and forward-collision alert.

According to Buick, the backup-camera-equipped 2015 models will go on sale later this year.

What it means to you: With its decision to add backup cameras for the 2015 model year, Buick is ahead of NHTSA's ruling to include them as standard equipment in all new cars by May 2018.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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