Reverse Your Car Properly with a Rear Cross Traffic Alert System

all about rear cross traffic alert system

The Rear Cross Traffic Alert system is a useful feature designed to help drivers reverse their cars from parking spaces or driveways. Simply put, RCTA helps back out cars from spaces (such as parking lots) where drivers may not be able to see approaching traffic. The rear cross traffic alert monitors areas behind a vehicle approaching two sides: the right and the left. Let’s go through the alert system in detail.

What is Rear Cross Traffic Alert

let’s go through the rear cross traffic alert working system in detail
Rear cross traffic alert systems are a modern car safety feature

The rear cross traffic alert is a car safety feature that helps drivers be more aware of their surroundings when reversing their car.

Once the car is shifted into reverse, the rear cross traffic alert gets activated. After the system is activated, drivers get a visual or audio warning when reversing other cars entering the rear cross traffic alert detection areas. 

Usually, the visual warning appears on the dashboard, mirror side or rear-view mirror. For example, when the traffic approaches from the right side of a car, the light appears on the right side of the rearview mirror or dashboard or the right-side mirror.

Often paired with backup cameras, rear cross traffic alert systems turn on automatically when drivers shift the gear to reverse.  This feature is useful when large cars or walls on either side of the vehicle obscure the rear vision. Here is how to install a rear view camera in cars.

For example, the driver is alerted via visual or audio warnings to stop the car and avoid a mishap if there is a chance of an accident from an obstruction in the rear area or traffic approaching from the back. 


all about rear cross traffic alert working
Rear cross traffic alert systems work with radar sensors and visual and audible alerts

Sensors that look like buttons are located at each side of a vehicle near the rear bumper. These sensors can use radar or ultrasonic waves. The rear cross traffic alert uses the same sensors that are used by the blind spot monitoring system – provided your car has one. 

When the system detects an approaching vehicle, the rear cross traffic alert system provides a warning light and/or a warning sound to alert drivers. Here is a list of popular car parking sensors.

That said, rear cross traffic alert is not designed to detect small bicycles, motorcycles or pedestrians. It is also not capable of detecting cars approaching from directly behind or those moving away from the vehicle. 

Most of the rear cross traffic alert systems are designed to work best in straight parking situations and may not work as well in angled-parking situations.


If you are backing your car out of space, reverse slowly. The rear cross traffic alert system will send an alert message when other cars are detected near or in your backing or reversing path. 

After the rear end of your car is past the adjacent objects and vehicles, the rear cross traffic alert system will have a clear view of traffic approaching from the left or right side. 

Always check over your left and right shoulders when using rear cross traffic alert and reverse with caution. 

Importance of Rear Cross Traffic Alert System 

rear cross traffic alert is a modern car safety feature
Rear cross traffic alert helps drivers avoid collisions when reversing out of parking spots

No one wants to collide their car with an object or another vehicle when reversing out of a parking spot. That said, such accidents are unfortunately common. With the help of rear cross-traffic warning technology, back-end collisions have been reduced by almost 25 to 30 percent. 

New car models have this technology as a standard feature and older cars can use aftermarket systems for safety. 

One way to discover if a car has RCTW is by checking if the side mirrors have a blind-spot warning. Auto manufacturers usually install and integrate the two blind-spot warning and RCTA systems to work in tandem. Both these features are part of the backup warning system use the same sensors inside the left and right sides of the back bumper to detect cars entering their monitored areas. Here

That is all about rear cross traffic alert’s working. If you’re looking for cars equipped with this technology, go through the various models of these makes and have your pick:

  • Used Nissan cars for sale in the UAE
  • Used Toyotas for sale in the UAE

Stay tuned to dubizzle’s top auto blog for more on car features, DIY solutions, car maintenance tips and much more. 


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