Written By
Published Oct. 21, 2019

There are so many features that contribute to the overall safety and security of any vehicle. These features include seatbelts and airbags as well as blind spot detectors. Drivers everywhere are at risk of accidents such as rear end collisions, and those can be prevented with the latest blind detection technology. This system exists in many modern vehicles but is missing in many old models. Drivers who are interested in upgrading their old cars will find a wide range of brands and sensor kits to choose from. Knowing which brands to spend your hard-earned money on is a step in the right direction and our guide below will provide you with this knowledge and more.

The Best Blind Spot Detection System

Our top pick comes from Crimestopper, a company with more than 30 years of experience in the field of vehicle security. Their expertise is evident in their blind spot detection system and its durable components. The system has four sensors in total:  two in the front and two in the back. These sensors ensure that all vehicle corners are covered at all times and provide assistance when changing lanes. The Crimestopper system is linked to the turn signal and will be automatically triggered when the driver uses the lever before switching lanes. Once a car enters the blind spot area from any corner, the system will instantly notify the driver via an audible buzzer and LED indicator. Car owners can install the buzzer anywhere and still be able to hear it thanks to the adjustable volume feature. Each blind spot sensor kit comes with waterproof sensors and has a detection range of 3 to 10 feet.

Key Features
  • 3-10 ft. detection range
  • 4 waterproof sensors
  • Includes 2 LED indicators
  • Sensors can be painted to match vehicle color
  • System includes a buzzer with adjustable volume
Specification
  • Brand Crime Stopper
  • Model BSD754
  • Weight 3.45 pounds
PROS

Waterproof

Easy to install

Sensors can be painted

CONS

Limited detection range

Instructions can be tricky

Requires drilling

The GreenYi system is another great after market blind spot detection system with an affordable price tag. This design features a high definition camera complete with night vision and two LED indicators. The camera offers 16 feet of night vision distance and sends a live feed to the HD monitor to help drivers change lanes and parallel park no matter the time of day. This five-inch monitor can be easily mounted on the dashboard and is compatible with two different types of audio format. Both the camera and monitor are easy to install and can be powered via the car’s cigarette lighter. This blind spot detection kit has a universal design that can be installed in minivans and trucks that lack this system.

Key Features
  • HD camera with 16 ft. night vision distance
  • Includes 2 LED indicators with adjustable brightness
  • 5" LCD monitor compatible with PAL & NTSC video formats
  • Easy to install using double sided tape- no drilling required
Specification
  • Brand GreenYi
  • Model GreenYi-36
  • Weight 1.12 pounds
PROS

Easy to install

Affordable

1 Year warranty

CONS

Camera lights can be distracting

Camera is not waterproof

Adhesive could be better

The Audiovox system takes blind spot detection to a whole new level thanks to its flash memory feature. This feature allows the system to identify and memorize accessories such as bike racks and spare tires that are often mistaken as moving cars. These accessories can result in false alarms, but the Audiovox sensors are programmed to detect cars and other obstacles that are six feet away from the bumper. The sensors are accompanied by a buzzer with an adjustable volume as well as LED indicators and can be programmed more than once. They can also be mounted in the back or the front using waterproof connectors. Unlike the Crimestopper system, the Audiovox kit has two sensors instead of four but car owners can purchase additional sensors in order to make the most out of this after market product.

Key Features
  • Flash memory recognizes mounted items like tires and racks
  • 2 sensor system with 6 ft. detection range
  • Can be installed in the rear or the front
  • System is equipped with buzzer and LED indicators 
  • Sensor add-on kits are sold separately
Specification
  • Brand Audiovox
  • Model PSD100
  • Weight 1.5 pounds
PROS

Easy to install

Few false alarms

Upgradable

CONS

Limited detection range

Cheap wiring

Slow learning capability

This radar based blind spot kit from Brandmotion is activated once the car surpasses 15 miles per hour. The radar sensors reduce false alarms by 85 percent and allows drivers to back out of crowded parking lots and change lanes on the highway without worrying about blind spots. The radar relies on CAN data in order to receive accurate car speeds and the system as a whole has a real OEM feel that fits perfectly in 2007 models and beyond. This Brandmotion system is also equipped with both audio and visual alerts that work once the turn signal is activated. In terms of detection range, the new and improved RDBS-1500 detects vehicles that are 40 feet away. This detection range applies to the rear of the car.

Key Features
  • Radar based system reads vehicle speeds
  • Equipped with audio and visual indicators
  • Detection range is 40 ft. behind the car
  • System activated once speed exceeds 15 mph
  • Compatible with all 2007-current makes and models
Specification
  • Brand Brandmotion
  • Model RDBS-1500
  • Weight 3.2 pounds
PROS

False alarms reduced by 85%

Relies on accurate speed data

OEM finish and performance

CONS

Expensive

Requires professional installation

Does not work unless car speed surpasses 15 mph

The BSS200 car blind spot sensor kit is an affordable option for drivers who need a no-fuss system that requires minimum effort and tools when it comes to installation. The kit includes two sensors that can be painted to match the color of the rear bumper and a pair of LED indicators that can be mounted on the dashboard. Once the turn signal is activated, the system will alert the driver to any cars that enter the blind spot. This feature can work at all times or only when the turn signal is turned on, depending on the preferred configuration. Each kit includes the necessary connections and adhesives needed for installation including the hole saw required for bumper drilling. It is necessary to point out that this kit is not intended for cars with metal bumpers and is only compatible with plastic ones.

Key Features
  • 2 radar-based sensors with waterproof connectors
  • Compatible with plastic bumpers only
  • Configurable system with LED visual and audible warnings
  • Kit includes necessary connections and tools for installation
Specification
  • Brand Accele Electronics
  • Model BSS200
  • Weight 2 pounds
PROS

Affordable

Easy to install

Paintable sensors

CONS

Hard to install

False alarms

Unclear instructions

The final aftermarket blind spot monitor on our list belongs to CarBest. This system comprises of two high speed frequency sensors that are mounted on the rear bumper and activated when the turn signal is in use. The sensors are accompanied by buzzer warning indicators as well as round LED lights that go off whenever a vehicle or an obstacle is detected. This budget friendly option has a rapid reaction rate and an 80-degree detection angle. It also comes with its very own installation kit and the sensors can be painted to match the color of the bumper.

Key Features
  • 2 sensors operate at a high-speed frequency
  • Detect vehicles once the turn signal is activated
  • Includes buzzer indicators as audio warning
  • LED indicators light up whenever an obstacle is within range
  • Can be painted to match the color of the rear bumper
Specification
  • Brand CarBest
  • Weight 1.29 pounds
PROS

Affordable

Fast reaction rate

CONS

Limited detection range

Quality could be better

Blind Spot Detection System Buying Guide

Car accidents are a daily occurrence especially during traffic jams and severe weather conditions. Everyone from beginners to seasoned and diligent drivers can get involved in rear end collisions, and this is why blind spots are not to be underestimated. Even people with sharp senses and decades of driving experience under their belt need to check their rear-view mirrors before changing lanes. Blind spot awareness is incredibly important and so is investing in the right detection system. The following guide showcases the different types of detection systems and how they can make a difference when it comes to car safety.

Vector rear view mirror with glass for blind spot

What to Look for in a Blind Spot Detection System

  • Detection Range

Sensors are an integral part of any blind spot detection system and they are typically sold in pairs or as a full set for both front and rear bumpers. They rely on sonar or high frequency radio waves that detect vehicles and other obstacles that end up in the blind spot. These sensors are connected to audio and visual indicators that send instant warnings to the driver when changing lanes. These warnings typically work when the turn signal is switched on and they come in the form of buzzers and LED lights that were designed to grab the driver’s attention. Side view cameras are also available as an alternative to car blind spot sensors and those are mounted on the mirrors. These cameras are typically connected to an HD monitor that is mounted on the dashboard. Not all sensors have the same detection range, so car owners need to take this into consideration when shopping for a new system.

  • Adjustable Indicators

As discussed above, sensors have to be connected to an indicator in order to convey their message to the driver. These indicators are installed inside the vehicle and give off audible sounds and lights that are hard to ignore. Most buzzers can be mounted anywhere, and their volume can be easily adjusted, while LED indicators can be installed on the dash or instrument cluster. Some systems allow you to customize their settings so they either work non-stop or only when needed.

  • Fewer False Alarms

There are several car accessories that can prevent the system from delivering accurate results. Bike racks and spare tires can be mistaken as hazards, resulting in false alarms. This is why it is important to invest in a blind spot detection system that is able to recognize these items for what they are. Some detection systems are equipped with smart technology that allows them to recognize mounted items and label them as non-threatening. This allows the system to focus on actual road obstacles and other vehicles.

  • No-Fuss Installation

Some car owners prefer to personally install any new gadget or accessory using their own tools and with the help of the instruction manual. Some manufacturers sell installation kits with each individual system to make this process easier and less time consuming. Some systems take up more time than others and may require professional help while others are simple and straightforward come installation time.

Why You Should Use an Aftermarket Blind Spot Monitor

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway safety, aftermarket blind spot detection systems were responsible for reducing injuries related to lane change accidents by 23%, saving lives in the process. This technology is on the rise, and for good reason. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also stated that getting rid of the dangerous blind spot behind vehicles can prevent more than 80,000 injuries and more than 100 deaths per year. These numbers alone should encourage car owners to invest in this system in order to double down on their safety while driving.

  • More Eyes on the Road

Sensors were meant to provide assistance and an extra pair of eyes where it matters. Blind spots are extremely dangerous especially on the highway where high speeds can lead to fatal car crashes. Installing two or even four sensors allows you to worry less about changing lanes and focus more on the road ahead. Side-view cameras can also assist newbie drivers with parallel parking and changing lanes in high traffic areas and neighborhoods.

  • Audio and Visual Warnings

Both audio and visual warnings give drivers the time to recalibrate and re-asses the situation. Sometimes, changing lanes can be a challenge and failing to notice a car in your blind spot can be disastrous. Even the most experienced drivers can end up making the worst decisions while driving due to stress or a lack of sleep. Installing this system is like having your very own parking and lane assistant who will help you make a more informed decision.

  • Doubling Down on Safety

There is no such thing as too much safety when it comes to driving and this is evident in the increasing number of safety features found in modern cars. Automotive companies have everything covered from shatter-resistant glass to traction control. Blind spot detection systems are no longer reserved for modern cars. Proud owners of classic cars or even older models can buy their peace of mind by installing this system in their respective vehicles for an additional layer of security while driving.

Types of Blind Spot Detection Systems

  • Aftermarket Systems

There are so many accessories and replacement parts that fall under the aftermarket umbrella. These accessories and gadgets allow car owners to modernize their old cars without breaking the bank. Upgrading your cars overall safety is now possible thanks to blind spot sensor kits. Some of these kits offer the same performance and finish as factory-installed ones. Others have a universal design that works with different makes and models.

  • OEM Systems

Original Equipment Manufacturer systems are model-specific, and factory installed so they offer a higher degree of accuracy and performance. These systems vary depending on the brand, but most luxurious cars have sophisticated blind spot detection technology. For example, the Infiniti M-Series goes one step further with its blind spot intervention system. This system prevents the driver from changing lanes if he or she ignored the audible and visual warnings. OEM systems can be upgraded to include more accurate sensors and waterproof cameras that can withstand rain and snow.

Summer Road Trip

Best Blind Spot Detection System FAQ:

Q: How does blind spot system work?

Blind spot systems rely on ultrasonic or radar technology to keep an eye on the blind spot region of the vehicle. Once a moving object be it a car or a person is detected within this area, a warning signal is triggered. This technology involves sensors or side-view cameras that are mounted on the sides of the vehicle or near the rear-view mirrors.

Q: Is blind spot monitoring reliable?

Reliability depends on the accuracy of each individual system and its false alarm rate. Some systems are more reliable than others.

Q: How do I clean a blind spot sensor?

Sensors are mounted in areas that are prone to road grime, therefore cleaning them on a regular basis is a must especially during winter. The cleaning process is simple and easy.  All you need is a bucket filled with water, a small amount of soap and a non-abrasive cloth. Use the cloth to gently wipe the sensors clean.

Our Top Pick

The Crimestopper system is the best aftermarket blind spot detection system for several reasons. It offers top notch performance at an affordable price and relies on four sensors instead of two. The four sensors ensure full and comprehensive blind spot coverage from all sides whenever the turn signal is switched on. They are also waterproof with a detection range of three to ten feet. The system’s universal design is compatible with all makes and models and includes both a buzzer with an adjustable volume and LED indicators that alert the driver to cars and other obstacles in the blind spot. Installation is easy and straightforward, and the sensors can be painted to match the color of both the rear and front bumpers.

Sources:

  1. How are cars making the blind spot less dangerous? – How Stuff Works
  2. IIHS auto safety study: Lane-departure, blind-spot warning could save thousands of lives – Usa Today

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