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Blind Spot Detection: How Does it Work?

Here's a quick look at an innovation that can make your driving life safer and easier

Driver checking rear-view mirror

To keep children from getting into trouble, parents will often tell them that they’ve got eyes on the back of their heads—so don’t try anything. Automakers have developed systems with a similar premise, with the aim to keep drivers safe.

A blind spot is an area around a vehicle that cannot be seen by the driver due to line-of-sight obstructions or poorly adjusted mirrors. Using sensors, cameras and radar—commonly mounted on the corners of a rear bumper—blind spot detection systems monitor a driver’s blind spots for activity and give an alert when there is another vehicle in those areas.

Warnings appear in different ways, depending on the manufacturer. Some vehicles display a visible amber light in a side-view mirror, while others sound an audible tone through the car’s speakers. These alerts are just some of the ways automakers are addressing blind spots.

Remember that parents tend to watch their kids using more than one of their senses, and when it comes to checking blind spots, drivers should too. Blind spot detection systems are great, but they’re not perfect. Always check over your shoulder and be aware of your surroundings when reversing or changing lanes.

Check out other must-have vehicle perks—for comfort and safety—here.