Consumer Reports: Safety Upgrades for Your Car

Older car models can now be equipped with some state-of-the-art safety features

Many of today’s new cars come loaded with advanced safety features, such as collision warning and blind-spot monitoring. Now you can equip older models with some of those state-of-the-art safety features. Consumer Reports just checked out two after-market systems.

The Mobileye 560 is a small camera mounted on the windshield that monitors the road ahead and sends alerts to a small screen or even to your smartphone. It costs $850 plus installation.

Consumer Reports found that Mobileye works well. Drivers get a lane departure warning if they go over the line without signaling or approach the vehicle in front of them too quickly. And the test using a life-sized dummy found that the Mobileye does alert you if you’re about to hit a pedestrian when going slower than 31 mph.

It’s mounted in the front, so what it’s seeing is what’s in front of you, which is great. But it can’t help you with blind spot monitoring or a backup camera. Another aftermarket device, the $250 Goshers Blind Spot Detection System, alerts you if someone is approaching you on either side.

Be aware, the Goshers Blind Spot System isn’t all that easy to install. It took a Consumer Reports mechanic four hours. So it really isn’t a job for the average do-it-yourselfer.

Consumer Reports found that both systems worked as advertised. But they are no substitute for using your mirrors, paying attention, and looking over your shoulder when you need to, such as when changing lanes.

Complete ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars and trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.

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