Mazda6: blind spot indicator

Clever gadget has a handicap

In a previous update I revealed how I was won over by Mazda's Rear Vehicle Monitoring (RVM) system. It is particularly useful on a dual carriageway because when a car comes up behind to overtake, the system detects the overtaker as it moves into, through and out of the driver's blind spot.

It warns the driver with an orange light located on the wing mirror fixing point. If you indicate to pull out while the light is still on, then there is a further audio warning too. It's a clever set-up with real safety benefits, but sadly one with an Achilles heel.

The blind spot indicator works fine so long as the car approaches from behind and moves into my blind spot. However, if traffic merges from the right directly into my blind spot, then the rear sensors won't detect the vehicle. Hence, no orange light, no audio warning and, if it wasn't for an over-shoulder glance, I would have thought it was fine to pull out into the fast lane.

Admittedly, it is not often you get traffic merging into an outside lane (it's usually from a slip road on the left), but it does show you can never beat basic driving skills such as an over-shoulder check before pulling out no matter how good the car's techno safety wizardry.

Current mileage: 10976

Average mpg: 43.2