Understanding Lane Departure Warnings
As car technology becomes more advanced, we are able to avoid car accidents more often. Lane departure warning technology has been around for a while, but do you know what it is, how it works or how to use it? Understanding this safety feature can help you avoid a dangerous traffic situation.
What is it?
Lane departure warning technology us meant to help you avoid crashes that are caused by drifting or departing a lane. The system can detect lane markers and will alert you when a tire touches a marker. This warning will either be in the form of a light flashing, or a beeping sound coming from the side of the car that is drifting. Lane departure warnings will normally only alert you if your blinker is not on.
In a more advanced system called lane keeping assist, if it detects you are leaving a lane and do not respond in time it will steer you back into the lane itself.
How to use it?
Lane departure warning systems are either activated by pressing a button or are automatically activated when turning the car on. There is a button on your dashboard that is for the lane departure warning system; when it is lit up, it is activated. Again if you use a turning signal, or actively turn the wheel, the system will not send an alert. Most systems function best on highways and some will only work if you are driving at 35 mph or more.
How does it work?
Lane departure warning systems work by using a camera located near the rear view mirror that recognizes the lane markers on the street. The paint stripes have to be clearly visible. A curb will not be recognized. In lane keeping assist systems, there is a steering input assist as well. Remember if the lane markings are not clearly visible, whether they are cones, faded or you are coming from a curve, your system might not operate well.
Lane departure and lane keeping systems are backups. You need to be fully aware when you are driving to stay in your lane yourself. These systems are making roads safer, but you can too.