Have you heard of “Bye-Bye Syndrome?” The catchy name will stand out in your mind and, once you understand its origins, will never leave you. The name sounds so innocent but the definition is the stuff of nightmares. In cold, simple truth, “Bye-Bye Syndrome” is a common euphemism for back-over accidents that results in the serious injury or death of a child (or pet) by a parent, guardian, or relative. This usually occurs when a parent is leaving and a young child follows them outside to say goodbye, without the parent’s knowledge. In haste, the parent puts the car in reverse, give a quick glance behind them, and steps on the gas. When the child is struck, there is almost no time to react. The damage has already been done.
Sadly, back-over accidents occur with enough regularity that the US Department of Transportation has mandated that all new vehicles sold after May 1st, 2018 have a backup camera installed as standard equipment. The National Highway Safety Transportation Agency states that an average of 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries from back-up accidents occur every year. Children under 5 years of age account for 31 percent of the deaths. As a parent, this is scary stuff!
If you’re a family like ours, you live on a budget. This usually means that you purchase and drive older vehicles with less factory tech; more specifically, your vehicle may lack a backup camera. With the horrifying statistics of back-over accidents, Janessa and I agree that it would be worth it for families to purchase an aftermarket backup camera even if it takes a little time to save for it. The potential to avoid a life-altering accident is worth the investment. If you think that a rear view mirror is good enough, consider the following: a small child or pet would have to stand back quite a distance (even in a compact car) for you to see them in your mirror. On average, this measures out to 10 feet for a compact car, 18 feet for a minivan, 25 feet for a large truck, and over 46 feet for massive SUVs like Excursions or Suburbans. Don’t believe me? Check out the images from the experiment we conducted with a full-size truck. The top of our daughter’s head is barely visible in the rear view mirror and she is completely invisible in the side mirrors, from slightly over 20 feet away! Scary!
If you recognize the seriousness of this potential safety issue and you’re ready to buy, take the following into consideration: There are quite a few options out there as far as available aftermarket backup cameras so how do you which one will suit you best? My advice is not to scrimp out on this one. The old adage of “You get what you pay for” is true in most instances. For example, if you purchase a unit that isn’t reliable, you might find yourself giving up on using it. Or, as another example, if a unit is difficult to install, you may give up on the entire idea of a backup camera entirely. Please, do yourself and your family a favor and purchase a good, reliable backup camera system, like the Pearl RearVision system by Pearl Automation.
Our family recently had the opportunity to test the Pearl RearVision system and it has been nothing short of great! Of all the backup cameras we’ve researched, the Pearl RearVision has the best features, aesthetics, and build quality.
It’s great impression started right away with the ease of installation. When you take the unit out of the box, you notice the heft. Now, this isn’t heft in a negative way. You can tell when you hold it that it is well constructed out of quality materials. This is also because the RearVision system is fully contained in a clean, modern license plate frame! This means there’s no drilling or wiring to speak of. How can you have a rear camera without having to at least wire power to it? Solar power of course! Yes, the frame also includes built in solar panels to efficiently power the cameras! The RearVision also includes a USB charger cable so you can make sure the frame is fully charged when you install it the first time, if you prefer not to rely solely on the solar panels.
Installation, as I said before, is an absolute breeze. Because there is no drilling or wiring, the entire system can be installed and running in less than 15 minutes. To install the RearVision, you simply attach the mounting bracket and your license plate using the stock mounting holes. Once your license plate and mounting bracket are installed, the weatherproof aluminum frame housing the cameras and the solar panels is fastened via a theft-resistant screw using the included specialty tool. It really is that simple! At this point, you are ready to install the OBD car adapter and accompanying iOS or Android app. The whole system operates on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity so you don’t have messy, unsightly wires dangling about your car!
The car adapter features an eight-core processor that runs billions of calculations per second to analyze images from both cameras while you’re backing up. When an obstacle is detected, a tone sounds from the built-in speaker in the Car Adapter and the object is highlighted in the Pearl App. The Pearl App displays video of what’s behind and around your car right on your Android or iPhone. If your phone is held in the portrait orientation, you’ll see a split screen view. The top screen shows the selected view while the bottom screen shows your view options. You can tap in several locations on the bottom screen to switch between different views. In landscape mode, you will only see the top screen or main view. If you want to change the angle or width of field in landscape mode, you’ll need to turn your phone in to portrait mode, select your preferred view, then turn your phone back to landscape mode.
The Pearl Phone Mount is included for easy viewing in either portrait or landscape mode. The larger your phone, the better! Like the frame, the mount is both modern in design and made of sturdy materials. To complete your installation, follow the prompts on the installed Pearl app. This will guide you through the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth setup procedure and make sure you are safely up and running.
One thing to be aware of that caught me embarrassingly by surprise is the fact that the view you will see when backing up is a mirror image. Having never owned a backup camera before, I thought there was something wrong with my RearVision unit. For some reason, I had the idea that what would be displayed would be what I would see if I turned my head to look behind me. I even went as far as emailing with a Pearl representative to make sure this was correct, as I was somehow certain that it wasn’t. The Pearl representative politely set me back on the correct track and assured me that all was well. This was further confirmed when I compared it to a factory-installed backup camera and it was displayed in an identical manner. If you aren’t used to backup cameras, this is going to seem really odd at first! Once you get used to it, you don’t notice anymore.
My wife and I had a great experience with the fantastically easy-to-install Pearl RearVision system. It is efficient, clean, and avoids leaving wires strewn about your passenger compartment. Best of all, when you upgrade to a newer vehicle, you can easily swap the Pearl RearVision from your prior vehicle. The peace of mind it provides is fantastic. Were I to injure one of our children (or worse) due to something as simple as a lack of visibility, I don’t know that I could ever forgive myself. This would be compounded by the fact that it was an easily solved problem.
For the sake of safety, please consider purchasing this potentially life-saving equipment. Don’t let your family become part of the unfortunate statistic that is back-over accidents, when it is so easily preventable!
I’m excited today to partner with Pearl to offer one of their RearVision Backup Camera systems to one lucky reader! If you’d like a chance to win this amazing piece of technology, enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck!
Disclosure: We were provided a Pearl RearVision system at no cost to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own. Pearl is responsible for prize fulfillment.