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2018 Outback Touring 2.5i
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody have experience with whether the BSD system will pick up low trailers being pulled by some one passing you (and keep the BSD warning light on until the trailer, not just the truck pulling it, passes)? I'm talking about the very low single-car hauling trailers (I'm in NASCAR country), >20ft long, no side rails, painted black, empty, about a foot off the ground, at night.
Thanks.
 

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2015 Legacy 3.6R ES, 2014 Forester Touring ES, 2005 Jeep Liberty Limited
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And????

Laughing at Oneself and with Others is Good for the Soul
 

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2018 Outback Touring 2.5i
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336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm wondering whether the BSD light (in the mirror) will be on longer if I'm being passed by a vehicle+flat trailer vs vehicle alone. I've almost merged right (actually left) into one of these (yes, I tried to merge too quickly. working on that...) when coming up on slow traffic in my lane. Curious whether the radar/programming is looking this low off the ground.
 

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2019 Ascent Premium
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362 Posts
I do not know about BSD but sometimes Eyesight has a hard time detecting unloaded garden trailers in front of me when I have cruise control on.
 

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2016 2.5i Limited, 2013 Tesla Model S 85
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You have a problem that can not be rectified with do-dads if you try to pull in so close behind another vehicle that you would hit their trailer.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Premium w/Eyesight, 2010 2.5i Premium CVT
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139 Posts
I do not know about BSD but sometimes Eyesight has a hard time detecting unloaded garden trailers in front of me when I have cruise control on.
I've run into this (well, not literally) as well. I had a case where Eyesight couldn't continuously detect the bouncing trailer in front of me and the system must have determined that it wasn't working correctly so it shut down. I, and the people behind me, didn't appreciate the sudden slowdown. Now I know better than to expect it to detect something with that low of a profile.

I know I've been surprised by a low trailer on a passing vehicle as well, but I can't recall if it was in this car with the BSD. I wouldn't recommend relying wholly on BSD at night anyway.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5i Touring 6MT, 2014 GSW TDI 6MT
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104 Posts
After this weekends road trip to see Metallica!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I notice it won't/doesn't pick up smaller cars like Mini's & SMRT Cars.
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R
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Like Yoda said, you should never rely completely on BSD to keep you out of trouble. As far as the law goes, trailers over 80 inches wide (which I think it's safe to say most car haulers are) are required to have clearance lights. Those lights will be visible to you if you give a glance over your shoulder so that you can see if you are clear. If the trailer didn't have the proper lights, I would think you would have a case to argue if you hit it. Although merging in that close behind someone that you took out their trailer puts you in the wrong again. You probably just ought to give people some extra room.
 

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2016 Outback Limited Titanium
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495 Posts
I witnessed an accident a couple years ago where a car pulling a utility trailer in the left lane. The guy pulling the trailer shouldn't have been in the left lane and not driving that fast anyway. Another driver in the center lane swerved into the left lane behind the car pulling the trailer but not seeing the trailer. He hit the trailer and the trailer flipped into the air, the car pulling it was spin sideways and rolled onto its side. The car that hit the trailer went sideways and striking the car in the right lane. Effectively all three lanes blocked. I had seconds to react and swerved onto the grass median and down between the north and southbound lanes missing all cars involved. The only injury was the guy who hit the trailer as he wasn't wearing a seatbelt. I wouldn't rely on a BSD, I trust my eyes more. People need to slow down and use common sense. Pulling a trailer at 70mph in the left lane is nuts. Being impatient and changing lanes in a hurry is equally nuts.


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2018 Outback Touring 2.5i
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm less worried about liability than side-swiping a trailer at 70 mph.

The problem with unloaded car trailers is that they're really hard to see when next to you, especially when it's dark, even when shoulder checking because usually you don't look downwards, and even if they have side running lights, or reflectors, they're only a foot off the ground in the adjacent lane, and you can't see them anyways. After one (or two) close-ish calls, I leave more room. But even then, if you miss spotting one, suddenly there's an extra 20 ft of car that you weren't expecting and what was supposed to be a reasonable gap actually isn't. I don't encounter these too often, but the days are getting shorter again...

How soon after a car passes does the BSD light turn off, anyways? A while ago, I was behind a car with a mirror-mounted BSD light, so I was able to see when it went on/off when people passed it. Unfortunately, no one with a trailer passed it. Few real-world details make it to manufacturer's literature. This site, and VWVortex for my Passat, end up with some of the most useful data.
 
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