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These gadgets make driving more safe


Fri, Apr 26th, 2013
Posted in All Features

Guys love gadgets. Be it the newest smartphone or the latest model television, men revel in staying up-to-date on the latest gadgets and gizmos to hit the market. While many popular gadgets are geared toward entertainment, some are aimed at making life more safe for consumers. Such is the case with the following gadgets and innovations, each of which makes the roadways more safe for drivers and their passengers.

•Blind spot detectors: Blind spot detectors and intervention systems use radar or image detectors on side mirrors to determine if an object is in the car’s blind spots. Intervention systems are connected to the braking system of the car. The systems pull the vehicle back to safety should the driver attempt to change lanes into potential danger. While this technology has the potential to prevent accidents, sometimes the detectors offer false positive warnings, picking up oncoming traffic, parked cars and even trees.

•Back-up cameras: In an era of monster-sized vans and trucks, some drivers have difficulty gauging the length of the vehicle with respect to items behind it. Also, taller vehicles may have obstructed vision in the back by the rear bumper, which can be a safety hazard should a child or object be in the path of the auto. The camera can provide an image of what’s behind the vehicle to better assess whether it’s safe to go in reverse. A beeping sound or other signal also may alert to a potential obstruction.

•Lane departure warning: This mechanism is designed to warn a driver when a vehicle begins to move out of its lane, unless a turn signal is activated to alert to the lane change. These systems use a camera or another tracking device to pick up on the visual lines on a roadway, accommodating for turns. Some will signal with an audible sound, visual notification or a vibration of the steering wheel if the driver is veering into another lane. Other systems will work in concert with the steering to keep the car in its lane.

•Night-vision technology: Individuals who do a good portion of driving at night may want to consider night-vision options on a vehicle. This is a system that increases the driver’s perception and seeing distance in darkness or poor weather beyond the scope of headlights. Many systems rely on the driver looking at a screen that portrays a video image, which some assert is a danger in itself because it takes one’s eyes off of the road.

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