How Does Blind Spot Monitoring Work?

Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Clients Receive Justice after an Accident.

Many new models of vehicles are being designed and manufactured with innovative and interesting safety technology. One of the main goals of the automobile industry is to design and make safer cars and trucks. People assume that car accidents are going to happen no matter what and no matter how safe people drive. The goal of auto manufactures is to lower the number of collisions as much as possible. One way to do this is the development of safety systems built into the vehicles. Blind spot monitoring is one of those systems that work in conjunction with other systems. This discussion explores what blind spot monitoring is and how it works. It also discusses whether this specific safety system is worth purchasing.

What Is a Blind Spot on a Vehicle?

Almost every vehicle on the roads and highways today has blind spots. A blind spot is an area or zone that surrounds the vehicle where it is difficult for the driver to see. When a driver uses either the side mirrors or the rear-view mirror, there are specific zones that are “blind” to the driver.

This is one of the reasons why drivers’ ed teachers always teach their students to not rely solely on their side mirrors when switching lanes. Drivers’ ed teachers want their students to turn their heads first and look back along the side of their vehicle to check their blind spot. If more drivers would do this, there would be less lane change accidents. Here are the various blind spots on a standard vehicle:

  • Directly in front of the vehicle for a few feet, depending on the height of the front of the vehicle
  • Directly behind the vehicle for a few feet that your rear-view mirror cannot see; back-up cameras eliminate that blind spot
  • The back right and left zone for several feet along the vehicle where the side-view mirrors cannot detect objects

The size of an individual blind spot depends on the size and shape of the vehicle. For example, some new personal pick-up truck brands are becoming taller and taller where the front of the truck’s blind spot is becoming larger. This is one of the reasons for the increase in smaller people and children being hit by these large trucks. The drivers cannot see when people are walking in front of them, such as crossing a crosswalk. It is the same problem with SUVs. These types of vehicles are being built progressively larger with wider and longer blind spots.

A way to compensate for the increase in the size of blind spot size is to have blind spot monitors. These systems are becoming more common in newer model vehicles.

What Are Blind Spot Monitors?

Blind spot monitors are sensors that are built into a vehicle that monitor the various blind spots that a driver cannot see. The sensors are similar to a radar system. The system is normally part of a back-up or rear cross-traffic alert system. When both of these systems are combined, a driver can be warned whenever the vehicle is in reverse and a vehicle or pedestrian is crossing behind the vehicle. The sensors will also allow the driver to be alerted when a vehicle is approaching along the side of the vehicle. This will let the motorist know when it is safe to switch lanes.

Each manufacturer’s blind spot monitoring systems are somewhat different. The warnings each system gives to drivers are somewhat different. Most blind spot monitoring systems warn drivers in several ways. First, there is usually a beeping sound that the vehicle uses. Second, there is usually some kind of warning on the dashboard screen. Last, newer model vehicles will often have some type of light-up warning on the vehicle’s side-view mirrors. The reason for this is that most of the time drivers are looking at the mirrors at that point because they are about to switch lanes. The system lets the driver know if something is in the vehicle’s blind spot, the zones that cannot easily be seen by using the side mirrors.

Are Blind Spot Monitoring Systems Worth the Price?

There is a question as to whether blind spot monitors are worth the price. This is assuming that a new vehicle buyer has the option to choose these systems when purchasing a new car. It depends on how much the systems will add to the overall price of the vehicle. These types of safety systems, however, do work very well. The trend over the past few years is that these systems are becoming ubiquitous in vehicles and buyers are not even being given the choice when buying a new vehicle.

Over the next 10 years, almost all newly designed and manufactured vehicles will have these various safety systems built in without the buyer getting a choice. Blind spot monitors will soon be like back-up cameras in that they will be on every new vehicle.

Type of Accidents Blind Spot Monitors Prevent

The most common type of collision that blind spot monitors will prevent are side-swipe impacts. These types of accidents are also called merging accidents. They happen when motorists attempt to switch lanes but do not make sure the lane is clear because of the driver not being able to see what is in their vehicle’s blind spot.

Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Clients Receive Justice after an Accident

If you or a family member has been seriously injured by the negligent and careless driving of another motorist, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You are urged to reach out to the Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Our legal team has many years of experience helping clients after a car accident. We will fight to secure the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington DC, Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we work with clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.