June 19th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
A lane departure warning (LDW) system notifies you any time your car inadvertently drifts out of its lane without a turn signal. In these instances, an LDW system does not take control of your vehicle. Instead, an LDW system provides a lane departure alert to help you avoid an accident or collision.
How Does a Lane Departure Warning System Work?
An LDW system uses a camera attached to your car to track lane markings on the road. The camera detects when your car is drifting out of its lane, and sends an audio or visual alert.
LDW systems have been shown to help reduce the risk of accidents or collisions in which one car strikes another in an adjoining lane. These incidents may involve “sideswiping” another vehicle that is traveling in the same direction as your vehicle. Or, they may involve drifting out of a lane and hitting a car that is traveling in the opposite direction.
Also, LDW systems may help lower the risk of a car rollover, which can occur if you swerve your vehicle into a curb, pothole, or a soft roadside shoulder. SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans are more prone to rollovers than other cars, due in part to the fact that they are top-heavy and have a high center of gravity.
An LDW system is now installed in many new cars. They also meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s performance standards.
Is a Lane Departure Warning System Effective?
An International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences (IATSS) study published in 2019 highlights the benefits of LDW systems. In the study, researchers noted that the gradual adoption of lane departure prevention (LDP) technology could reduce the number of car crashes. They also found that the increased effectiveness of LDP technology could further reduce the number of car crashes.
IATSS study researchers examined the potential impact of LDP technology in the years to come, too. They indicated that if an LDP system becomes 100% effective by 2045, the system could prevent up to 66.5% of single-vehicle lane departure crashes.
Ultimately, an LDW system won’t stop a car accident and collision, but it alerts you if your vehicle moves out of its lane when your directional has not been activated. Thus, once you receive a lane departure alert, you can act swiftly to get back into the proper lane and prevent an accident or collision.
How to Install a Lane Departure Warning System
If you want to equip your car with an LDW system, you should have the system installed by automotive professionals. To ensure proper installation, you can consult with an auto body shop.
The professionals at an auto body shop can help you add an LDW system to your car, as well as evaluate your vehicle’s interior and exterior and offer repair tips and recommendations. That way, an auto body shop can help you upgrade your car and avoid a wide range of vehicle problems.
Are LDW System Alternatives Available?
Along with LDW systems, other lane departure systems are available, including:
1. Lane Keep Assist (LKA)
An LKA system helps you keep your car in its lane. If your vehicle starts to drift outside of its lane, your LKA system provides automatic steering, so your vehicle is instantly moved away from the lane marking. Then, you’ll need to re-center your car in its lane.
2. Lane Centering Assist (LCA)
An LCA system helps keep your car centered in its lane. The system works when your hands are on the steering wheel, but it won’t necessarily work on roads with sharp curves.
3. Road Departure Assist
A road departure assist system automatically steers your car or applies the brakes when you move off the road.
Can an LDW System Stop Drowsy Driving?
An LDW system cannot prevent drowsy driving, i.e. driving while feeling tired or exhausted. If you feel drowsy, it may be tough to stay in your lane. You may also experience various warning signs associated with drowsy driving, such as:
- Difficulty keeping your eyes open and/or head up
- Driving too close to the car in front of you
- Missing a road sign, turn, or exit
- Drifting into the rumble strip on the shoulder of a highway
If you experience any of the drowsy driving symptoms listed above, there are many things you can do to address them, such as:
- Take a 10- to 15-minute driving break
- Eat a snack and/or drink a caffeinated beverage
- Share the driving responsibilities with a passenger
By using an LDW system, you can reduce the risk for yourself and other motorists. But, you also need to be aware that an LDW system does not stop drowsy driving.
If you receive an LDW system warning, respond appropriately by moving back into your lane. After the warning, drive safely and beware of any signs of drowsy driving.
Finally, if you feel unsafe operating a car with or without an LDW system, pull off the road and ask for help from a family member or friend. If you need emergency assistance, call the police. With this approach, you can do your part to keep the roads safe and avoid an accident or collision.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto San Jose a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing the San Jose area.