2016 BMW 340i: Easy-to-See and Unobtrusive Blind-Spot Indicators
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on August 3, 2016
Most vehicles these days can be equipped with a blind-spot monitoring system. Blind-spot monitoring uses radar sensors to identify when another vehicle is in your left or right blind spot (i.e., the locations behind and over your shoulders that might not get covered with the vehicle's mirrors) and then gives you a warning if you attempt to change lanes. It can be a helpful safety feature, but certain systems are more useful than others.
I happen to like the one in our long-term 2016 BMW 340i, for two reasons.
The first is the easy-to-see nature of the vehicle indicators. The yellow triangle light mounted in the mirror housing is big and bright, and that means you don't need to shift your gaze or mental focus much to see it. I like this better than systems that have their warning lights in the mirrors themselves. Those are often harder to see or can get lost in the background of whatever else you're looking at in the mirror.
BMW also gives you an extra layer of protection with its monitoring system. If you engage the 340i's turn signal while a vehicle is in your blind spot, the light indicator flashes and the steering wheel subtly vibrates. Other systems typically beep loudly at you if you engage the turn signal. The steering wheel vibration is less intrusive, and as an added bonus, your passenger might not realize that you were just about to do something stupid.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 5,960 miles