Nowadays almost every Mercedes model can be optioned out with the blind spot assist feature. Mercedes has been offering the blind spot assistance option for a while now, and this system is a really valuable asset on longer highway journeys.
It’s worth mentioning that you should never completely rely on this system, and you should always check your blind spots before making a lane change. This system is there to offer a helping hand, a reassurance that you are correct when determining if a lane change is safe or not.
Mercedes Active Blind Spot Assist
A blind spot refers to an area of obstructed vision, an area that can not be seen on your rearview mirrors. Mercedes Active Blind Spot Assist uses a mixture of sensor and camera technology that constantly monitors all of your blind spots up to 10 feet behind you and constantly keeps you informed about any potential safety concerns.
If the system recognizes a car in your blind spot, the system alerts you with a red triangle inside the mirror housings. If the system recognizes an object in your blind spot, and you still want to make a lane change, the triangle will start flashing and the car will send an audible alert.
It’s also worth remembering that this system works at speeds exceeding 18MPH. Some consumer reports even suggest that the addition of this feature has helped to prevent collisions in as much as 60% of drivers tested. This system is certainly a welcomed addition to any new car on the streets, and all manufacturers should start offering these features as standard.
Active Blind Spot Assist costs and considerations
Most car manufacturers will sell you the Blind Spot Assist feature for a price between $500-1000. But the European Commission issued a statement that is aimed at making a comprehensive list of mandatory high-tech safety systems by 2021. This effort is aimed at preventing as many as 7300-38000 serious car accidents between 2020-2030.
The systems mentioned in this statement are advanced emergency braking, active blind spot assist, drowsiness and attention detection systems, emergency stop signals, lane keep assist, reversing cameras, and many other detection and safety systems.
This report is also aimed at incorporating many accident event data recorders into all the new cars on sale. Mercedes has also issued a statement that completely aligns with all the aspects mentioned in the list. And it is safe to say that soon all of the newer Mercedes models will come with these safety systems as standard.
The effects of advanced car safety systems
Many people believe that these safety systems are not as valuable as the manufacturers claim, but many reports are suggesting the opposite, that these systems are responsible for preventing a large number of serious injuries, deaths, and property damage claims.
Some reports from IIHS have suggested that cars equipped with active blind spot assist systems enjoyed a 14% lower crash involvement rate. The same report also suggested that if every car was fitted with these systems back in 2015, as many as 50000 crashes might have been prevented.
Many reports have also suggested that systems such as blind-spot assist or active lane assist have also dramatically reduced the stress associated with 200mile+ journeys. These systems offer a reassuring effect that even if you signal to make a lane change your car will alert you if it’s not safe to do so.
But these systems are far from perfect as they are fairly sensitive and some of them like active lane assist might sometimes feel a bit too aggressive. Some systems like automatic brake control can sometimes misinterpret a possible collision situation and aggressively apply the brakes on highways which could pose serious safety issues.
Should I buy a car with advanced safety systems like blind-spot assist or lane keep assist?
These systems do offer an additional layer of protection in tricky situations. They are not perfect, and they can lead to some safety issues if they don’t function properly. But some individuals consider these systems to be a must-have on a newer vehicle.
Besides, you are always able to turn these systems off if you think that they might be malfunctioning. In that case, you should immediately contact your dealer for further instructions.
Are advanced safety systems expensive to fix?
Many reports suggest that some of these systems cost as much as $3K to fix if they malfunction. Plus, if some of these systems do eventually break, your car might not let you drive it if it thinks that there are serious safety risks associated with it.
Some reports have also suggested that cars fitted with these systems cost as much as twice the amount you would usually pay to fix a car without these systems. That’s mostly associated with brands that have only recently started using these systems on just a few specific models.
It’s also worth mentioning that most new cars sold come with widespread warranty coverages which usually cover all the advanced safety systems. So this question only applies to non-warranty covered vehicles if you are shopping for a used car or a car that is soon to lose the warranty coverages.
What’s the insurance like on cars with advanced safety systems?
On one hand, these systems make cars safer, so insurance claims should be decreased. On the other hand, these systems cost more to fix in a breakdown situation, which would increase the insurance associated costs. It’s safe to say that these systems will not make a large discount when it comes to car insurance, at least not for now.
But the future is rather optimistic when it comes to advanced safety systems in cars. That’s because these systems are constantly improving, and if they become a standard feature in all of the newer cars, the costs associated with these systems should decrease across the board.
A few years ago, Swissre and HERE technologies conducted a research on the effects of advanced safety systems on modern-day car accidents. The study also further reiterated the fact that these systems, if widespread, could decrease the costs associated with insurance for as much as $20 billion per year.