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A Blind Spot in Safety: An analysis of blind spot warning in popular heavy vehicles in the U.S.

This study aims to investigate and quantify the cost of blind spot warning (BSW) in the United States’ top-selling 2022 automobile models that are 4,000 pounds or heavier, including larger SUVs and pickup trucks.

Previous research has demonstrated the potential of BSW to prevent crashes, but Consumer Reports (CR) has found that this feature is often sold as part of a package for a substantial additional fee rather than as a standard feature. Expanding on a report from 2020, we find that BSW remains an add-on feature in several top-selling vehicles, and that automakers often require consumers to spend thousands of dollars extra to equip their vehicle with the technology. We examined the 14 most popular heavy passenger vehicles that meet the criteria outlined later in this report.

These vehicles accounted for 26% of sales of non-commercial vehicles in the U.S. in 2022. BSW is included as standard on the lowest trim levels of only three of these models. None of the top five brands offer this feature standard on all trim levels. If consumers had paid for BSW on these top five models on the lowest trim where it was available, they would have each paid about $1,600 on average.

CR urges automakers to prioritize this safety technology and include it as a standard feature across all trim levels, especially on larger, heavier vehicles where the benefits could be even greater.