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Any thoughts on add-on proximity and lane drift detectors, etc?

We own and very much like our very low mileage 2015 Forester.
It’s in perfect condition and should be good for many years and many miles at the rate we (retired) put on miles.
While I readily acknowledged that the electronic safety features common in newer cars seemed worthwhile, we didn’t opt for any when we purchased our 2015 back then.

Recently I drove a 2020 Forester for a few hours,and I have to admit I very much like its electronic safety features. I particularly liked it politely alerting me when a vehicle was in my blind spot.

I’m not about to sell our creampuff and upgrade to a new one (probably a $7000 “upgrade”) I did notice that there are several makers of retrofit proximity and lane detection, and even anti-collision automatic warning and braking systems.

Does anyone have experience, knowledge, thoughts, advice, and/or options on getting such aftermarket kits installed. Or know a source of reliable reviews of them?

Alex

Don’t, just don’t. This is a bad idea.

Any aftermarket product will be less effective, less reliable, less durable and potentially more unsafe than the manufacturers internal systems.

If you want these features, buy a new vehicle.

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I’ve found some reviews but for many of these they can be finicky depending on how well they were installed. I have eyesight of n my 2015 and haven’t needed anything else. The added features of the 2020 are tempting.

Just stick with the old fashioned way, look over your shoulder and if needed get some additional little mirrors to stick on. I like the rectangular ones.

I agree with @Barkydog

Fish eyes are under-rated and inexpensive . . .

and they work

Many of our fleet vehicles have them, and they help a great deal in diminishing the size of the blind spot

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I’ve found that by setting my outside rear view mirrors correctly, I don’t have blind spots. It doesn’t work for all vehicles, but it works on two Honda Accords I’ve owned. The method is also recommended by AAA as I recall. If you like, I’ll describe it.

What do these sensors cost including installation?

Some kits are $600 or more plus installation. I’ve followed the same method with my 2015 Forester and adjusting the mirrors does help considerably.

One source for reviews, the top rated one is about $600 on Amazon

I agree that the protections in a new vehicle are better than those provided by aftermarket add-ons, Mustang.

In the industry I worked (computer industry) we had a saying
Better is the enemy of Good.”

Point being that by waiting around ;until I can afford the higher cost for upgrading to a new vehicle for the “better” factory installed versions of these detectors (which you are likely correct are better) I’m denying myself and my wife the not-as-good but still worthwhile benefits of the aftermarket detectors.

Just buy a new car is a no-brainer for folks for whom money/budget is not a relevant factor. That doesn’t, sad to say, apply to me. :wink:

You will be disappointed with the aftermarket stuff.

I come from the automotive industry where “just good enough” is a siren song for lawyers. Accident avoidance systems not only must not do harm, they must work as well.

The aftermarket does not have the knowledge of the cars command and control systems like the OEMs do. Nor do they rigorously test these add ons on every car to any degree. And if lawyers come knocking, they go out of business to avoid a settlement.

I agree fish eyes are under-rated and inexpensive. I already have them on both my cars. I am a great fan of them.
They do not completely eliminate the blind spots, but help greatly.

What’s more important is, unlike the electronic warning systems, they ONLY help if you continuously monitor them. They won’t alert you when someone enters your blind spots while you are busy watching what’s directly ahead or whatever.
They won’t alert you if you are drifting close to crossing the shoulder borderline or the next lane divider.

The electronic systems PROACTIVELY alert you to that and other potential hazards.
They are like having two or three dedicated traffic observers riding with you… ones who never get distracted or forget what their job is. :wink:

These system have been out there long enough that even in the few short years the statistics are clear that they reduce accidents.
“…https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/vehicle-safety-features-accidents/…”

Mustang… Your posts are always worth reading, though we seem to come to different positions.

I fly an aircraft. It has an aftermarket ballistics parachute designed/intended to lower the plane safety to the ground in event of a catastrophic control or structural failure or engine failure over totally unlandable terrain. It has not be thoroughly tested in my aircraft, and historically even the factory installed ones work successfully most, but not all, of the time.
I prefer to fly with it in the plane rather than remove it because it’s imperfect.
I rather suspect that if I was taking you up for a flight you might consider it to have some value after I explained it to you and told you how and when to deploy it if I dropped dead at the controls. :wink: Some imperfect additional protection is better than none. Particularly if you understand its limitations and are not counting on it to be 100% effective.
As you can see by some reviews of folks who have purchased some of these, despite their warts, some are happy with them.
I’m fishing for feedback with folks with actual experience with particular aftermarket kits… And grateful some here have supplied a little of that.

Every product installed in your aircraft must be approved by the FAA. Factory or aftermarket. None of the aftermarket products for your car need any approval from any regulating body before being sold.

I have to dig to find those reviews and they are not very good, IMHO. 3.6 stars of 5. Notice that none of the regular posters here have used anything more than convex add-on mirrors (I have added these on my truck, my Mustang has them standard…they work). The only reference to the products is an article from The Drive along with this statement…

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

At least the system is stand-alone and not tied into the car in any way. That is a plus.

You asked for thoughts. You got some. Please post back with your experience with the system if you choose to buy and use one.

I’ve been installing them on our vehicles for decades. They work great.

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Not really the same concept. First, as long as its capable of supporting the plane’s weight and you get it roughly in the right area, it’s probably going to work as intended because, after all, it’s just a firework that launches a sheet that fills with air.

Also, it’s something you use when things have already gone wrong. It’s not generally something that will cause things to go wrong, as blind spot monitors can.

The people that are happy with them haven’t experienced a failure (yet). But if you come to rely on the BSM, and for whatever reason it fails to light when someone is in your blind spot, that’s a problem. That doesn’t mean all aftermarket BSM systems are dangerous and should be avoided, but it does mean that you need to go a lot deeper than asking some anonymous people on a car forum.

Hi!
The aircraft I co-own and fly is in the FAA certification class Experimental. (It’s not quite what that sounds like to folks outside the aviation community. Most are well proven aircraft. Tried to look up total numbers registered but was unable to… I’d wild guess it’s well over 10,000 flying and have been at that level for half a century.

A key feature of… widely viewed as an advantage by owners of aircraft classified Experimental… is that parts do NOT have to be FAA certified. This results in, for example, us owners of Experimentals getting identical aircraft quality tires at sometimes 1/3rd of the price. We also have access and can readily upgrade to the very latest and greatest GPS navigation devices years ahead of the pilots with aircraft that have standard (not Experimental) certification without waiting years for the FAA to approve them and without going though complex and expensive applications for approval to replace our older avionics… Again at far lower cost. Eventually, the FAA catches up with the reality and the components that the Experimental aircraft are running appear as FAA certified versions. You might in a way say the Experimental aircraft community members are the beta testers for the rest of aviation.

My ballistics parachute may or may not have been an FAA certified product, but it was not and didn’t have to be approved to install in my aircraft. Like both an OEM and aftermarket lane and proximity detector on a car, there is no guarantee that it will work as expected/hoped when your life depends on it. But I’m still glad it’s in the plane… and I imagine if you were foolish enough to go for a flight with me :wink: you’d rather have it in the plane than not. Not so?