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Basic safety features already installed in drivers

Learner Plate on Silver Car
Learner Plate on Silver Car

CAR sales advertising is all around us.

It is a constant.

It's amazing how many minutes per day we are bombarded by vehicle marketing at any and every advertising opportunity.

TV, radio, billboards, newspapers and the internet to name just a few.

To me it's white noise that I rarely notice unless something particularly interesting pops out, or I'm actually in the market for a new vehicle.

Which I have been lately.

Sometimes car ads stick out because they are exciting.

Who old enough could ever forget the "Chrysler Sigma - it's a sensation" advertising of a few decades ago?

A catchy jingle and the mighty Sigma bursting through and shattering a mirror glass panel perfectly timed to the music.

Pity the car wasn't up to the hype.

But the advert was a ripper.

One thing that got my attention was a car manufacturer spruiking the latest safety device.

Lane departure warning.

"What the?" I exclaimed to myself when I saw this.

The car now tells us if we are going out of our lane?

Yep, that's about it.

"Lane departure warning alerts you that your car is about to veer out of lane and warns you to get back into lane," one major manufacturer tells us in their blurb about this.

Now I don't know about you, but I always thought that was a pretty basic feature that hopefully is installed in all drivers.

Notice I said drivers - not cars.

A driver, properly instructed and alert, needs to be paying attention to many things.

Speed, distances, gauges, changes in speed zones, traffic conditions, other cars and so on and of all things, road position!

When I instruct new drivers, I try to force two big things into them.

1. Always look everywhere and notice what's happening all around you.

2. Maintain your road position. Keeping left.

I thought further about this and read some more.

Read about how it's a great feature for people who drive a lot of miles, because they get tired.

Yep, I can see what they are getting at, but how about not driving while you are tired?

I think someone else has come up with that before.

It's one of the Fatal Five isn't it?

Remember them - 1. Don't speed. 2. Don't drink or drug drive. 3. Wear seat belts. 4. Fatigue. 5. Distraction.

I can also see where "lane departure warning" would help if you were breaking more of the Fatal Five.

In my experience I have noticed lots of people lose their road position and crash when they are distracted (like sending a text on the mobile or changing a CD), drink drivers, speeders and those who are tired.

Please, let's always remember the Fatal Five.

Oh and don't get me started on blind spot detection either. Same thing, we've had that for years. In our drivers.

It's called turning your head.

If this is the way of the future I say just bring on the driverless cars and take away the nut behind the wheel completely.

Either that, or bring back the Sigma. After all, it's sensational!

Topics:  andrew gale opinion safety features



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