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Can Blind Spot Monitoring Systems Prevent Car Accidents?

August 15, 2022

Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You After a Blind Spot Collision.

A blind spot monitoring (BSM) system is a type of advanced driver assistance system (ADAS). Modern vehicles are equipped with it to improve driver safety and decrease car accidents. Other ADAS include automatic emergency braking, collision warning, road sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, forward and rear collision warning, and lane departure warning. These all look good at first glance, but do they actually decrease the number of motor vehicle accidents? In particular, how effective are BSM systems?

A 2017 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed how effective BSM systems are for preventing lane-change crashes. It studied lane-change crashes in 26 states over a seven-year time period, comparing vehicles that had BSM systems to the same vehicle models that did not have the optional systems. It was shown that lane-change crash involvement rates were 14 percent lower, and it was estimated that approximately 50,000 accidents could have been prevented during those seven years. This study did not account for driver demographics.

How Does BSM Make Driving Safer?

BSM systems use high-tech sensors and side-mounted cameras that connect to a vehicle’s main computer. The sensors and cameras monitor adjoining lanes for approaching traffic, and when they sense an advancing vehicle, the system goes into a warning mode. However, some BSM systems engage only when the driver activates the turn signal, while others engage whenever the sensors and camera identify another vehicle in the blind spot. The alerts can include a sound, blinking light, or a vibration in the steering wheel, and the alert will keep going on until the other vehicle moves away or the driver turns off the turn signal.

Besides those driver alerts, more advanced BSM systems will nudge the vehicle away from the lane marker or even steer it back to the center of the lane. The vehicle’s computer either takes over the steering temporarily or applies brake pressure to one or more of the wheels. The driver also always has the option of disengaging their BSM or LDW system before or while driving.

When BSM systems first became available, they were only offered on luxury vehicles; Volvo was the first car manufacturer to offer them. Now that their benefits are well-established, BSM systems and other ADAS are standard in many vehicles. Years back, these features were quite expensive, but now that they are more mainstream, the costs have come down and are more affordable for car buyers.

How Do I Use a BSM System?

BSM systems and other ADAS are designed to help drivers and are not a substitute for defensive driving. When it comes to using BSM, you should still check your mirrors and look over your shoulder before changing lanes, especially in heavy traffic. Those alerts are to remind drivers to check their blind spots before making a maneuver. Drivers who use BSM should also understand how it works; what the warnings look or sound like, how to turn the system on and off, and so forth. This information should be in the vehicle’s manual.

These sensors and cameras are not perfect, either. They may not be able to detect motorcycles, pedestrians, or bicyclists since these are all smaller than cars. The systems are not always reliable for tracking cars and trucks that are moving extremely fast or slow and work best for vehicles that are traveling at highway speeds. Another glitch is that they show their warnings when two vehicles are turning in the same direction when they are next to each other.

The sensors and cameras will also not work if they are broken or need to be cleaned. You might not realize that your car’s BSM camera is covered with dirt or that one of the sensors is broken until it is too late. This is why it is vital to get regular tune-ups and to pay attention to your BSM system. If the alerts do not seem to be working, check to make sure that the system is on; remember, it is useless if you keep it shut off. When the system is on but the alerts do not seem to be, it may be time to take the car into the shop or dealer.

Will a BSM System Save Me Money?

While research shows that BSM prevents accidents, it is not possible to know how many accidents you have avoided and how much money has been saved. On the other hand, the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your vehicle is safer cannot be calculated. A BSM system can add, on average, about $250 to $500 to the price of a vehicle. Also, know that when ADAS needs repairs, that can be costly and take extra time to be completed.

You might also be wondering if your auto insurance premiums will decrease with a BSM system or other ADAS, but this is not the case. One reason is because of the high cost of repairs, and the other is that the majority of insurance companies feel that that there is not enough data to back up the claims regarding the safety benefits. Some experts believe that more significant research with results in favor of ADAS could pave the way for auto insurance discounts.

Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You After a Blind Spot Collision

While today’s advanced technologies have made our roads safer, human error and other factors still contribute to many automobile accidents. If you have been injured in an accident, speak with one of our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers. Our legal team at East Coast Trial Lawyers will protect your rights. Call us at 757-352-2237 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.

Areas We Serve

Our law firm proudly serves clients injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina on personal injury claims, including cases with traumatic brain injury, spinal and neck injury, wrongful death, and more serious injuries. As Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys with many years experience, our team of lawyers will be ready to fight for you. If you were injured on the job, our Virginia Beach Workers Compensation lawyers are ready to serve you.

Call 757-352-2237 or fill out the online contact form for a free consultation about your personal injury, workers compensation, or other attorney services. Our firm adopts a team approach to every case, so while one primary lawyer will be assigned to your case, you have the benefit of an experienced team of lawyers, all working on your side. We are located in Virginia Beach, VA, and serve clients who were injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina.

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Virginia Beach VA 23452
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