Driving can be dangerous, but vehicle design has evolved to help keep drivers and passengers safer. Modern cars offer many advanced car safety systems (ACSS). However, some automakers execute these safety features better than others. Here’s a look at ACSS and the automakers with the best blind-spot warning (BSW) systems, according to Consumer Reports.
What is a blind-spot warning system?
A blind-spot warning system in a vehicle uses cameras, radar, and/or ultrasonic sensors to check for cars the driver can’t see while moving. It looks for other cars slightly to the rear in lanes to the left and right.
The system alerts the driver to a vehicle in the blind spot with a visual warning, usually on the side mirrors or the front pillars. When the turn signal is on, some systems also give an audible or tactile alarm (or both) to let the driver know that a vehicle is in the blind spot and that they shouldn’t switch lanes or merge. Some cars also have a blind-spot assist system, automatically nudging the steering wheel or activating the brakes if the turn signal is on and an object is in the blind spot.
In a survey regarding the advanced safety and driver-assistance systems in CR members’ model-year 2017 to 2022 vehicles, Consumer Reports found that the satisfaction ratings were higher with newer cars, perhaps indicating these safety systems have improved. Modern vehicles often have larger side and rear blind spots than older vehicles, so survey respondents also mentioned the importance of blind-spot warning systems.
Which 3 automakers have the best blind-spot warning systems?
According to Consumer Reports survey respondents, Genesis, Jeep, and Lexus provide the best blind-spot warning systems. CR based its findings on various criteria.
For instance, the best BSW systems are standard on all trim levels. Also, the blind-spot warning lights should be located on the side mirrors or pillars so they’re easy for the driver to see. That’s better than appearing in the infotainment center or instrument cluster.
In addition, the BSW system should provide its alert in an ample amount of time before another vehicle moves into the blind spot. An excellent system also allows drivers to customize the sensitivity and type of warning that works best for them. Last, an ideal system includes blind-spot assist by automatically performing slight steering to avoid collisions.
Other advanced car safety systems
Aside from BSW, other advanced car safety systems help protect riders and pedestrians. For example, forward collision warning systems alert the driver when their car is about to hit something. That sometimes includes pedestrian detection. Automatic emergency braking warns of an impending collision and then engages the brakes. This feature also sometimes includes pedestrian detection.
Another system is lane departure warning. It lets the driver know if their vehicle gets near or crosses the lane line. It helps drivers who are tired or distracted or need a reminder to use turn signals. Lane-keeping assist goes further by regulating steering to keep the vehicle in its lane.
Additionally, rear cross-traffic warning alerts the driver when in reverse about vehicles approaching from the side or rear. And reverse automatic emergency braking works with rear cross-traffic warning to engage the brakes to avoid or mitigate a collision.
Adaptive cruise control keeps a set distance between the vehicle and the one in front by accelerating and braking. Some systems can stop in traffic and then continue.
And parking obstruction warning alerts the driver to nearby obstructions while parking. Some systems check 360 degrees around the vehicle, while the best give a bird’s-eye view.
Dynamic driving assistance, sometimes called a Level 2 system or an L2 system, can control acceleration, steering, and braking. Automatic emergency steering can recognize a potential collision and steer to avoid or reduce the impact of a crash. Systems should be able to select between steering and braking, and the best systems also warn the driver before changing the steering.
With so many advanced car safety systems available in modern cars, it’s vital for shoppers to see which vehicles provide the best blind-spot warning system and other features when deciding which vehicle to buy.