The 5 Automakers With the Best Rear Cross Traffic Warning (RCTW) Safety System, According to Consumer Reports

One of the most important automotive developments is the creation and implementation of advanced car safety systems (ACSS). They use cameras and sensors to detect potential dangers and help drivers avoid collisions. Rear cross-traffic warning (RCTW) is one ACSS that has become increasingly popular in recent years. But not all RCTW features are created equal. According to Consumer Reports, five automakers offer superior rear cross-traffic safety systems. 

What is a rear cross-traffic warning system?

Rear Cross Traffic Warning (RCTW) Safety System: Consumer Reports
2023 Hyundai Tucson backup camera screen | Hyundai Motor Company

As the name implies, rear cross-traffic warning monitors vehicles moving toward a reversing car and warns the driver so they won’t back into that vehicle. RCTW functions only when a car is in reverse, and some systems also detect pedestrians and other objects approaching the vehicle’s rear. 

Drivers appreciate RCTW in their vehicles because the feature helps to deal with blind spots or other issues with visibility while reversing. Even if a driver has a clear view in front of them, there might be an approaching car they cannot see while backing up. An RCTW system’s sensors detect an obstacle, triggering an audible alert. 

Of course, having a car equipped with a rear cross-traffic warning system alone doesn’t solve every problem with reversing. Drivers are still responsible for ensuring that it’s safe to back up, and other features, such as backup cameras, can help. Some vehicles with RCTW also have rear automatic emergency braking to stop a vehicle if a car is detected while backing up. Though this feature can be beneficial, it can also trigger when there’s no actual threat, resulting in unnecessary braking.

5 automakers with excellent RCTW, according to Consumer Reports

CR surveyed car owners to determine which automakers provide the best advanced car safety systems. According to Consumer Reports, respondents chose Lincoln, Genesis, Jeep, Cadillac, and Hyundai.

If you’re shopping for a car with an excellent RCTW system, these brands will likely satisfy you. However, not every automaker uses the same name for this advanced driver-assistance system. Lincoln and Cadillac call it rear cross-traffic alert. Hyundai and its luxury brand, Genesis, named the feature rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist. And Jeep calls its system rear cross-path detection.

Regardless of the name, these automakers provide excellent RCTW systems. 

Other crucial advanced car safety systems

Today’s cars abound with ACSS features, and RCTW is only one system buyers should consider for their next vehicle. Automatic emergency braking is helpful for more than avoiding reverse collisions. It can also detect forward collisions and automatically apply a vehicle’s brakes to avoid other cars or pedestrians.

Blind-spot warning is another essential safety feature that monitors blind spots in the rear of a vehicle to detect other obstacles a driver might not see. This feature is especially beneficial for changing lanes.

And lane-departure warning does what its name implies. If a driver begins to veer out of their lane, the vehicle will alert them. An even more advanced feature is lane-keeping assist, which provides some automatic vehicle control over steering to prevent drivers from crossing out of their lane.

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