When you are learning how to drive, one of the first things you learn is how to take a look over your shoulder before switching lanes. You have to do this mainly because side view mirrors can help you get the full picture of your surroundings. With modern technology, blind-spot detection systems can find the things you miss with a glance. They are one of the most effective driver assistance technologies out there at now. You can get a full picture of everything that is surrounding you with signals telling you when is the best time to switch lanes or to remain on them. Most of the times you will receive a warning with flashing lights on your side mirror or with a vibration of the steering wheel.
What is Blind-spot Monitoring?
Blindspot detection is a technology equipped on vehicles that allows a 360° electronic coverage of your car. It works at any moment regardless of your speed. It includes quite a number of safeties that allow the system to do the job. Some of them are adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, sonars on the rear and front parts of the vehicle, rear traffic alerts, and parking cameras. In many places having these systems in place on your vehicle makes it easier to get insurance.
How Does Blind Spot Detection Work?
Blind-spot warning systems use technology to offer you real-time awareness of the surroundings of your car as you drive. The systems use cameras, ultrasonic sensors, radars, and other means to detect things you can’t see located next to or behind your vehicle. If the system picks on another car closing in, the driver gets a visual warning. These warnings are often displayed in the outboard mirrors or the front pillars. Some blind-spot warning systems offer audible and tactile warnings that work with steering system pretty similar to ones found in video game joysticks. The signals are meant to alert the driver when it is not safe to change lanes.
Where are Blind Spot Sensors Located?
Most of the sensors used by blind-spot monitoring systems are lined up in the full structure of the vehicle. The indicators, however, are placed just on the side of the driver. The warnings can be delivered using visuals, audible or tactile alerts, as well as vibration. They can be arranged at the preferences of the driver if the system is being installed on an older vehicle. Modern cars usually come equipped with it, so it is up to you to learn how to handle it.
Can You Install It to Your Car?
Objectively speaking, you need to be a trained professional to install this type of security systems on your car. You might be able to find a daring soul offering a tutorial on how to do it on the internet. But you have to keep in mind that there are many settings of blind-spot monitoring systems available in the market. Any novice can probably handle a generic brand, but the reach of these sensors is not as good as the ones offered by established brands.
You should also note that even the most basic blind spot monitoring system needs some wiring on your vehicle. You must know about electricity to do a thorough full job. The goal of having blind-spot monitoring in your car is to avoid accidents. Therefore, you need to install and configure the system correctly. Besides, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has regarded the presence of these systems as one of the safest ways to keep a record of everything that happens when you drive. It makes it easy for the driver to file a claim when they have an accident.
How Much Does It Cost to Add Blind-spot Detection?
As we mentioned before, you can buy a blind sport monitoring system if you have an older car that predates these safety measures. Modern vehicles come equipped with it, or you can add them on by paying an extra fee to your car seller. This is the current prices of most blind-spot monitoring (BSM) systems and the features they have according to their price tag.
- BSM of $250 and under: This is the budget option, it has limited monitoring systems with little reach and accuracy. They are offered with a pair of sensors, a few indicators, and no cameras.
- BSM of $250 to $500: The extra money will grant you a more accurate system as well as some additional sensors. They are pretty solid, but they can’t possibly match the performance of the original systems that are equipped on modern cars.
- BSM of $500 and more: You can begin to consider brand options with this price tag. The sensors offered on these packages are highly accurate. You can get cameras and internal control working on high-end algorithms that work with more precision to avoid false triggers.
Should Your New Car Have It?
Now that you know who this technology work, you are probably wondering if you truly need it. Review a few things mentioned above. The first one is that blind-spot monitoring is standard issue in most modern vehicles. Even if you don’t have plans to change cars soon, it doesn’t mean that you should discard the idea. Especially when you set up a BSM system on your vehicle for $500. The other reason is that insurance services are accepting the records gathered by these systems as evidence to file claims.
Many factors can affect your decision about getting a blind spot monitoring system. One of them can be the size of your car. If you have an SUV or a van, parking is never easy, no matter how experienced you are. If you use the vehicle to carry passengers (especially children), you can use BSM to warn all moments of the cars surrounding you. That is especially important if your attention shifts away because you need to tend to your children’s behavior.
Keep in mind that blind-spot monitors can also help you improve your driving if you have it difficult to measure spaces. The system can help you get a better grip on the things you need to learn to handle your vehicle correctly. BSM is very helpful when you are on the road, especially when you have to deal with multi-lane roads or highways that have consistent high-speed driving. You won need these systems if your frequent routes are one-lane roads or low-speed traffic jams.
Last, but not least, bear in mind that you can always test out these systems to find out if they genuinely work for you. A lot of people prefer to drive without distractions, and they have been doing so for years without the need for these security measures. You might be among those selected few. BSM is in place for younger generations of drivers that need a bit more of guidance on how to do things. Don’t let slide the fact that the trend of the industry is to make this system a standard issue for all vehicles. In the future, many insurance services will ask for these systems such as it happens with car camcorders.