By on August 29, 2016

traffic (Michael Gil/Flickr)

Passenger vehicles have never been safer, with a bevy of high-tech aids available to keep nervous motorists safe, and feeling safe.

For the most part, we enjoy these handy driver’s aids. After all, who wants to end up in hospital, or have their insurance company come collecting for an arm, a leg, and a few other pounds of flesh? However, one safety feature, found on an increasing number of new vehicles, has all the popularity of Chrysler’s grating Electronic Voice Alert of the 1980s.

We’re talking about the lane-departure warning. According to Automotive News, motorists don’t like it. Not one bit.

Consumer feedback consistently shows that motorists welcome systems designed to prevent a collision. Forward-collision warnings, often coupled with automatic emergency braking, remain popular — and with good reason. Motorists like a system designed to save their bacon and avoid (mainly) rear-end collisions. These are the type of collisions most motorists worry about.

Lane-departure warning, while designed to keep motorists safe, isn’t seen that way. Instead, most motorists see it as a nagging critic of their style of driving. The systems alert motorists if their vehicle leaves its lane without signalling.

David Kidd, a senior researcher with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, told AN that the group “had high hopes” for lane-departure warnings. They soon found that motorists didn’t like having a “turn-signal nanny” riding shotgun.

There’s a simple reason behind the negative reaction. “We are seeing benefits from other systems, but with lane-departure warning, we are not,” Kidd said.

An IIHS study found that two-thirds of drivers turn off the system, while less than 1 percent of drivers shut off the forward-collision warning. Drivers are also more likely to turn off the system if it uses audible warnings. Many drivers don’t use their turn signal when there’s no other vehicles around, and don’t like being bothered by the system. They also don’t like having their passengers hear it, as it reflects negatively on their driving.

This defeats the purpose of having the system, which is meant to alert drowsy or inattentive drivers headed for the ditch or the oncoming lane.

The solution could lie in simply changing the way the system warns the driver. According to the report, when General Motors switched from an audible lane-departure warning to one that sends vibrations to the driver’s seat, two-thirds of drivers left the system on.

[Image: Michael Gil/Flickr]

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97 Comments on “Here’s the Modern Safety Feature Motorists Hate the Most...”


  • avatar

    Vibrations to the steering wheel rather than the seat make more sense.

    It simulates hitting the rumble strips (without the noise).

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      The feature was envisioned to prevent drowsy or inattentive drivers from leaving the road. In those cases, their hands might not be on the wheel. The seat makes more sense.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      I vote for steering wheel too – if the seat vibrates, won’t it feel too much like your cell phone going off?

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        As someone who knows what both of those feel like, no. It’s an entirely distinct sensation. A phone vibration is much more localized–you won’t feel it down your entire thigh.

        Also, I try to not keep my phone in my pants, but on my torso somewhere. In a shirt pocket if I can fasten the pocket closed, or in a vest, or in an inside jacket pocket. Come to think of it, I try to keep my pants pockets as empty as possible.

        Anyway, a steering wheel vibration might be more easily confused for a power steering failure or other mechanical issue (though this is probably unlikely given the newness of cars with lane departure…right?)

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    yeah, it’s like having you annoying wife next to you even when you’re alone

    • 0 avatar
      theonlydt

      If the wife’s that bad, there may be no option to turn her off, but there is the option to be alone.

      A car chime is less intrusive than a bad marriage, though cheaper to deactivate.

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      [rant]

      I’m sick of hearing husbands complain about wives, even in jest. It’s really a reflection of your poor choice of a life mate. It isn’t like she was assigned to you like a bad lab partner in college, you picked her alone from among womankind and joined yourself to her. Smooth moove, ExLax.

      And if she really isn’t that bad, why make her out to be? And when did pissing and moaning about our wives become the go-to way to bond with other men?

      My wife isn’t perfect. Neither am I. Yet here we are together…

      [/endrant]

      On a side note, my wife is a left-lane camper and that drives me crazy. But I don’t take that gap in her skillset and extrapolate it to a general problem related to her wifey-ness.

      • 0 avatar
        vaujot

        Excellent Comment, seconded!

      • 0 avatar
        notapreppie

        NoID: exactly what I was thinking. People that whine about their spouses make my teeth itch.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, I whined about mine…until I divorced her ass.

      • 0 avatar
        notwhoithink

        For what it’s worth, when your wife is bonding with her female friends she is absolutely grousing about you and your little pecadillos as well. You might like to pretend that she’s not like that, but she is. That’s just the way that humans are wired.

        And the only thing that my wife nags me about regularly is the fact that I don’t always use a turn signal, so the comment certainly holds water in my world.

        • 0 avatar
          PeriSoft

          “For what it’s worth, when your wife is bonding with her female friends she is absolutely grousing about you and your little pecadillos as well. You might like to pretend that she’s not like that, but she is.”

          For what it’s worth, my wife has actually told me that when she’s out with her friends, she feels left out because she has nothing significant to complain about husband-wise. That’s right, guys: The worst thing about me is that *I’m so awesome*.

          *puffs up*

      • 0 avatar
        theonlydt

        Hence my comment. I’m now divorced. If your partner makes you that miserable they’re the wrong partner.

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          I miss my Sweet .

          She’s not perfect but she allows me to hang about , that’s a big plus .

          My Ex well , she left me so no complaints , she gave me our Son too .

          Wait ~ weren’t we talking about somthing else ? .

          =8-) .

          -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        Madroc

        Everything in your comment is true and I agree with it. Right down to my wife also being a left-lane camper (but she puts up with my $#!& too).

  • avatar
    operagost

    I imagine 100% of BMW drivers, who deny the existence of turn signals, turn off this feature.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Just use the damn signal already. It’s not that hard.

  • avatar
    tsoden

    And yet, the system does not annoy a driver when they use a turn signal. I think the real problem here is lack of turn signal use.

    How hard is it to remember to pull or push a signal stalk when lane changing or turning?

    • 0 avatar
      garuda

      Apparently, almost impossible

      • 0 avatar
        SlowMyke

        Yeah, this piece is being waaaaaay too apologetic for people who don’t signal. It annoys then because they don’t bother signaling when other vehicles are not around? That may be true, but it’s also true that they don’t signal when other vehicles are around as well.

        From my experience bring in cars with others driving, if they don’t signal without cars around, they don’t signal period.

        And for the argument of why bother signaling if there are no other cars around, signaling helps pedestrians as well. As a frequent pedestrian myself, I get very annoyed waiting for a car to pass so I can cross a street, only to have it turn short and I waited for nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          Fordson

          Seconded on all counts.

          “They also don’t like having their passengers hear it, as it reflects negatively on their driving.”

          Oooh…stop me before I whine again.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          Even if the car signaled, you shouldn’t trust the driver to make the turn before the point in the road where you want to cross. Turn signals only mean the turn signal bulb works.

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            @burgersandbeer – fair enough, drivers can be altogether unpredictable in stupid ways such as turning in a signal and then passing seven driveways before actually turning. That said, observing a driver put a blinker on is information I prefer to have when deciding it safe or not to enter the road.

            This goes for turning out onto a multi-lane street. It’s amazing how often a car will drift into another lane right at the moment you decide it’s safe to turn into that once-empty lane.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          “It annoys then because they don’t bother signaling when other vehicles are not around?”

          According to driver’s Ed, you should signal when you don’t think other vehicles are around — because the driver you don’t see *really* needs to know what you’re about to do.

          I signal when nobody’s around, because I’m an experienced enough driver and pilot to realize I’m not perfect.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Yep. “They don’t signal when other vehicles are not around.” That is, when they THINK other vehicles are not around.

      The worst driving behaviors are those that show the driver thinks he’s infallible and all-seeing.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “How hard is it to remember to pull or push a signal stalk when lane changing or turning?”

      Proper turn signal usage requires planning. And some folks just won’t tolerate anything that interferes with their impulsive libertine driving styles.

      Many Americans also feel that they don’t owe anything to anyone else, and that crashes are always caused by other people. Signalling is a courtesy that they owe to no one.

      • 0 avatar
        Reino

        On the other hand, I’m waiting for the safety feature that disables acceleration when the car recognizes a turn signal from a car IN FRONT OF YOU.

        This is the reason many don’t use them. When you do, asshole behind you speeds up to block you.

        People suck.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      I’ve heard a ton of complaints about these systems beeping when you aren’t making a lane change. Some don’t let you use the full width of the lane. Other times it’s just people being sloppy about staying within the lines. On freeways that annoys me greatly, but on low-speed roads the last thing you want when you give a bicyclist extra space or avoid a double-parked car is to get beeped at.

      Honda’s system only works above 55 mph, so it’s probably fine. Subaru’s apparently drives its drivers crazy. Even Consumer Reports’ drivers admitted to turning it off every time they got into their test Forester. A friend of mine who’s a very by-the-book driver rented a Jaguar in Ireland and absolutely hated the lane departure warning. Probably comes down to the details.

      • 0 avatar
        Ermel

        This. I am a truck driver in Germany, and modern trucks all have lane change warning systems. While they do make sense against nodding off and thus leaving your lane (which in an ideal world should not happen because no-one should drive when that tired), they are an annoyance when you just want to position your rig to the extreme left or right in your lane (to give extra room on the side where it’s needed, e.g. by an overtaking truck in the left lane or a stalled one in the breakdown lane, respectively).

        And no, using your turnblinkers is not an option in these cases, since they alert following drivers to an imminent lane change that then doesn’t happen, adding confusion and danger to an already confusing and dangerous situation.

        So the first thing I do after starting the engine is switch off the lane change nanny, which in my truck, a Mercedes-Benz Actros, is a quite loud R-R-R-R-R sound from the respective side, which also silences the radio — the latter being much more annoying than the sound itself. Were it a more discreet sound, and rising in volume over time instead of blasting at 11 right away, I’d probably leave it on.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Late to the party, but my Accord’s system activates above 40mph.

        And it stays on, except if I’m in a construction zone where the “old” lane markings might be down the middle of the road.

        I’ve made it into a game to see how long I can go without activation: an entire workweek! (ONCE!)

  • avatar
    NoID

    I’ve only driven two vehicles with lane departure warning systems, a rental 2015 Impala LTZ and a company-owned 2015 Cherkee Trailhawk. The Impala LTZ was annoying as hell, the Cherokee Trailhawk was so unintrusive I had to check to make sure it was working.

    The difference is that in the FCA product, the system very gently corrects the course of the vehicle with no sound or vibrations. If it detects Y number of deviations in X time frame or X time of what the system judges to be no driver interaction, it vibrates the wheel and/or chimes (depending on your preference) and alerts the driver to PLEASE PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE WHEEL on the dash display.

    I thoroughly liked the system, and I would check the option box if given the chance.

    • 0 avatar
      NetGenHoon

      +1 on the LDW for the Trailhawk, it’s subtle, effective and super adjustable. You can set how early and how strong the Lane Keeping activates.

      I hate the blind spot audible warnings for all the reasons mentioned, but my Mrs Hoon likes them and they’ve kept her safe several times on the Phoenix freeways.

      • 0 avatar

        It has to be said that while Ford’s system (at least, in the Escape) doesn’t nudge, it is similarly subtle and well-done. You get a vibration on the wheel and message on the display notifying you. The first time it happened I said “Phhhfftt, I wasn’t over the line” and then I realized that I had, in fact, been lazy.

        The system taught me to drive with more awareness and care, and that makes it extremely useful for me (and, I think, many other people).

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      When we had a rental ’15 Tahoe LTZ with the same system, we all kept it on for the first 20 minutes or so of our turns at driving, then said, “okay, that’s enough” and turned it off.

  • avatar
    ijbrekke

    On my (now sold) Mazda it was okay, except for two common situations:

    1. If I’m accelerating past someone to merge in front of them I turn the signal on as I’m going past. It senses that car in my blind spot and beeps every time.

    2. In a left turn lane with more than one lane it continuously “alerts” me. This is the worst one.

    All to say, I very much don’t miss it.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      We have blind spot monitoring on my wife’s car (Hyundai Santa Fe), and the beep if you signal with a car in the blind spot kills me. The warning light on the side mirror should be enough. It does it if I have my signal on in a turn lane with someone next to me as well.

      Normally I would be able to ignore it, but we have a 18 month-old who needs his nap, and the last thing I want to happen if he’s sleeping in the car is for the damn chime to wake him up. So if he’s napping, I turn into a non-signaling asshole out of necessity.

      On the whole I do like the feature. It has saved my bacon at least once or twice since we bought it, but the chime has got to go.

    • 0 avatar
      Ipsa

      I have experienced both inconveniences that you describe in the Mazda lane collision warning system, but they are so minor compared to the benefit I get from the occasional legitimate blind spot surprise that I am OK with it. I think you can even turn the volume down on the beeping so that it’s not overly intrusive.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Mine allows me to set the volume of the sound and turn it off, IIRC. The chime doesn’t bother me at all, especially if I expect it.

      Compared to a friend’s car which is a year older, my sensors seem more refined in that they hardly ever produce false positives while my friend’s does.

  • avatar

    I don’t want any of those systems in my vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenn

      ‘Same here, which means that if we want to buy something new, we’d better better act soon. After successfully, virtually collision-free, driving for 40+ years, I don’t need or want my car disagreeing with my actions (and can imagine the disastrous results of intermittent glitches in the various “assist” systems).

    • 0 avatar
      Ipsa

      Have you ever tried “any of those systems” before? If not, how can you know? I never had any fancy electronic safety systems in my prior vehicles, but my latest car has some nifty passive safety features I never thought I would want until now, like a backup camera, blind spot monitoring, and (non-safety) features like keyless start/stop. I still don’t “need” any of them, but I do appreciate having them.

      • 0 avatar

        @ipsa.

        Totally agree, none of us are perfect and any reasonable safety system that helps us become better drivers is always welcome.

        Those who do not want such safety aids are probably over confident about their driving abilities, and the attitude reveals they are not open to improving their driving skills.

        No matter who you speak to about driving it’s always the idiots on the road that cause the problems, not the person speaking. However the other drivers on the road probably view that same person as the idiot. What this tells me is that we all suck at driving; over 30,000 deaths a year on our roads is testament to that fact.

        I welcome any aid or safety system that trains me to be a better driver or alert me to dangers.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I expected to not care for keyless ignition, but I like it. I like the backup camera, but I still prefer genuine visibility. But I think my favorite has been cross traffic warnings.

  • avatar
    Audiofyl

    I feel like people drive like they are the only ones on the road most of the time with improper lighting use, no signals, cutting corners as if no one was in the opposite lane, etc. This is why systems like these are an “issue” to those people. This country doesn’t provide proper driver training like most European countries do. Everyone learns from others bad habits.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenn

      “Proper driver training” is easily overridden by laziness or an arrogant attitude.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Slob isn’t a training problem. The slobs “remember” how to drive right quick when there’s a marked cruiser in the lane next to them.

      Slob is just another symptom of the death of social trust that comes with a Balkanized country that doesn’t share anything beyond proximity with each other.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I guess it would have to depend on which manufacturer’s system we’re talking about. I drove a Mercedes S-Class about 6 months ago, and their lane-keep assist was so violent I thought the car was gunning for the next lane over.

  • avatar
    lonborghini

    Many people don’t use their turn signals no matter who is around. I was hoping that this would be a rant about air bags but they’ve been around for a while and can’t very well be considered driving aids. I would be interested to know how many drivers would opt out of air bags if they had the choice. I know that i would do the air bag delete.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I would say that’s a stupid notion, wanting to get rid of airbags, but it sort of makes sense when the alternative is potentially driving around with a frag grenade inches from your chest…for fifteen years (some of the cars in the Takata recall are that old)

      I currently have a 2014 Mustang V6 cabriolet in my possession, and it’s under that recall. I don’t even think, unlike Honda, that Ford is doing anything to put owners in alternative transportation while they wait for the airbags to be replaced.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    “Instead, most motorists see it as a nagging critic of their style of driving.”

    Probably because most “motorists” are piss poor drivers. Can’t have the lane departure warning interrupting your Instagram selfie, natch.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I agree that it’s probably embarrassing for people if the LDW sounds an audible chime.

    Of course I always use my signals, and my daily is remarkably easy to keep in the lines. But the 2016 Escalade ESV I rented earlier this year? That thing was a barge by comparison. Of course, it just discretely nudged itself back into its lane and presented a warning icon on the instrument panel the few times I drifted into another lane; I thought it was very clever versus the late-model QX70 I drove, which just sounded an alarm (and couldn’t be turned off, to my knowledge).

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    It would be interesting to know the percentage of people who have lane departure warning and turn it off who have also ever had a crash as a result of falling asleep at the wheel. As opposed to those with ldw who have not yet crashed because they were asleep at the wheel.

    I installed an aftermarket ldw fcw system as a result of such an accident as an extra safety layer and as a form of punishment. Every time it chimes it reminds me and my passengers of my irresponsible (but luckily minor) accident. Better than killing someone.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Your reaction time might not be fast enough with LDW, in a lot of scenarios. I think it comes into greater play when people are texting while driving, which they should not do.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        A worthy point. I can only speak from my own experience in which the car already was entirely outside the fog line that would have triggered an ldw warning, when I awoke. By then I had only a fraction of a second to sort out what was going on and twitch the steering wheel just the right amount to skid the front wheels enough to stay on the road but not go into a spin. The former probably would have been fatal. I was also lucky I was not speeding.

        Anyway, my Mobileye 560’s ldw can be adjusted both for warning volume and width sensitivity.

        Some mentioned annoying ldw warnings for situations such as giving cyclists extra clearance. I use bus drivers as my example. They signal whenever moving to the margins of their lanes, and when pulling out from the curb even when not changing lanes. If they
        do this, so can/should I.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I believe nodding/falling asleep results in more collisions with slowing vehicles directly in front of the car than with lane-changes.

      There’s also the alternative of putting the lane departure warning on the road instead of the car (e.g., rumble strips on the shoulder, physical barrier between directions of traffic), but reflectors between lanes don’t work in areas requiring snow plows.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    i kind of view this like speed cameras…
    Quit being a $&@! and you won’t have a problem.

  • avatar
    shaker

    “…when General Motors switched from an audible lane-departure warning to one that sends vibrations to the driver’s seat, two-thirds of drivers left the system on.”

    Additionally, half of those drivers started repeatedly violating their lane without signalling.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    I always signal lane changes.

    And I don’t like something that whines at me if I almost ride the line in a corner, or veer to the side of the lane in slow traffic to see something.

    “Yes, car, I know I’m not centered in the lane. This is intentional, shut up.”

    I’d hate a system like that unless it was tune-able for when and how to warn.

    (Reminds me of driving my parents Subaru [Outback 3.6L] – it would randomly chime and make noises.

    Eventually figured out with the Internet that it was the nav system “notifying” me about upcoming … curves. Just, you know, normal, everyday freeway curves.

    Turned that off.

    Not only do I not need a curve notification for a non-hairpin, random chimes *are not meaningful*!)

    • 0 avatar

      I suppose its different strokes for different folks.

      I would welcome the accountability a warning system would afford me. Safety isn’t really that optional.

      For example, recently Waze added a ‘speedometer’ function, it alerts you when you are speeding. (I set the alert to 10% over). I’m not a stranger to speeding, but the reality of how *often* I was speeding more than 10% over was an eye opener. I don’t speed as much as I did, or at least not by as much.

      Its easy to think we are fully aware of what we are doing at all times, the reality is very sobering.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I had a car where you could set a warning chime at a preferred speed. I stopped using it because I had it set at the upper limit of the speed I actually cruised at, so it would chime, then I back off, then it chimes again soon after. I should have set it for a speed that would be really stupid, rather than a speed I am likely to hit occasionally anyway. Oh well.

        • 0 avatar

          A single fixed speed is of limited value.

          If you’re doing 35 in a 20 you won’t be warned.

          Waze adjusts the warning depending on the speed limit. At least its adaptive which makes it more useful.

          • 0 avatar
            White Shadow

            My Jeep let’s you choose how many mph over the posted limit for an audible voice warning. Pretty cool, but it can get annoying. I speed more often than I had realized.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    “The solution could lie in simply changing the way the system warns the driver. ”

    Or gee, more drivers could LEARN TO USE TURN SIGNALS!

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Worst “safety” feature in my memory was the “attack belts” of the 1990s. I’m referring to the shoulder belts that automatically wind around the door when you get into the car. They weren’t hight adjustable and they didn’t always mount behind the occupant (on cars with small doors). You still had to fasten the lap belt. I feel that in addition to raising costs and increasing likelihood of seatbelt failure, they were actually less effective.

    • 0 avatar

      The worst part of that system was that it lulled you into a false feeling of safety. You still had to manually latch the lap belt in place. Many would probably not bother thinking the car made the safe already.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Auto seat belts were the dumbest feature I’ve ever seen. Fortunately, they didn’t last long.

      I had a Honda with both the shoulder & lab belts attached to the door. Terrible ergonomics, and I laughed when I saw a video of an accident that popped the door open & the test dummy literally fell out of the car.

      I also drove an Escort with the motorized shoulder belt. It occasionally glitched and tried to move the wrong way when the door opened, meaning it squeezed you into the seat. You had to disconnect it to get out. And of course there was always the fool who would open the door & stick their head out to see something, just in time to have the seatbelt clothesline them.

  • avatar
    Boff

    My wife’s new X1 has the lane departure warning system, which vibrates the steering wheel pretty subtly. I don’t mind the system and always leave it on. Like others have posted, I habitually signal lane changes so that’s no issue; on the other hand, I often run afoul of the nanny while clipping apexes or straightening out roads with turn lanes. But it’s not something that would prompt me to disable the system…it really does feel like I am using the kerbs at the racetrack!

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    How well does LDW work on roads with faded paint/cratered pavement where the lane markers used to be (much of MA and I imagine anywhere else that it routinely snows)?

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      My aftermarket ldw/fcw system is remarkably tolerant of ambiguous situations. It seems to work just as well at night and in rain. False warnings do happen, but I don’t expect it to be perfect.

      I also don’t expect it to work on snow covered roads. Probably one should not be driving in a manner on snow covered roads such that these systems would see much use. Same as on gravel or on a beach, where it seems to do no ldw function.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I’m tired of people not signalling, so I think they should get an electric shock.

    And maybe a punch in the head when they run a stop sign.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “These are the type of collisions most motorists worry about.”

    Studies show head-on collisions have increased in popularity.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    There are a number of aftermarket ldw/fcw systems. The enhanced webcam versions are so useless they are laughable.

    There is a smartphone ldw/fcw app called iOnroad. It suffers from the same primary flaw as the enhanced webcams. They use gps signals or similar for speed calculations. This utterly lacks the precision needed for accurate warnings.

    So far the only system I know of that uses the superior setup of tying into the OBD bus for speed data is Mobileye. This also allows factoring into the calculations whether you are on the brakes or throttle. There are a couple of similarly costly systems whose online information does not disclose whether they use OBD data.

    I’m not a big fan of Mobileye after having an earlier version of their expensive system fail soon after the warranty expired. But after disappointing experiences with alternatives, it seemed Mobileye was still the only viable aftermarket ldw/fcw system.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    My mother LOVES this feature on her Honda Accord. Consequently I don’t like driving her Honda Accord with her as a passenger.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Awe, some special snowflakes don’t like being reminded when they’re being bad drivers? I don’t like when someone decides that a good time to creep right up to the edge of their lane is when I’m right beside them. Do they prefer their car nagging at them, or me trying to get within inches of their door, trying to shepherd them back into their lane?

  • avatar
    Delta88

    I’m ok with the lane departure warning on my Touareg. It vibrates the steering wheel if you wander out of your lane (active above 40, provided the camera can make out the lane markings, which it’s pretty good at) Mercifully, it is easily turned off with a small button at the end of the turn signal stalk. Even better, not too far buried in the infotainment screen you can set it to three different levels of sensitivity and three different strengths of vibration. All in all, I’ve become more conscious of signaling my lane changes so as not to be scolded. Even if you consider yourself to be a top-tier signal user you’d be surprised at how many times you unconsciously think “screw it, there are no other cars near me” and scoot over.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Was looking for a nice new car for my folks and test drove a newish (1yo) M-Class 320CDI with almost everything on it. Until the lane assist almost made me mow down a cyclist… you know the drill, see a biker pedaling away, steer a tad to the left to evade, Merc’s genius positronic brain sees the lane departure, SLAMS the right front brake on and the cyclist was god-damned lucky I was holding the wheel with both hands or he would have ended up in the ditch. Needless to say I am looking for an ML with everything _but_ the damned automatic steering thingy.

  • avatar
    motormouth

    Remember driving a VW (Passat) CC a few years ago. Weather was terrible, raining hard, going up a hill I felt the wheel vibrating. Thought the car was actually losing traction until I realized it was the stupid lane departure system giving a false positive. Utter garbage, not worth the chips used to power the system.

    If you can’t keep a car in the lane (or work the wipers or headlights without an auto feature) you really shouldn’t be driving.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    I find most of these safety nannies more of a distraction than an aid. There’s too many of them. All of a sudden, you have bells & chimes going off all over the place & start looking around for the source. And yes… I have a vehicle with these systems. Luckily, it’s a lease… and I’ll be turning it in about 6 weeks from now. Like others, I’d prefer good ole visibility as opposed to all these electronic nannies. Once my Edge Limited goes back to the dealership, I’ll start to daily my ’08 Grand Marquis… only has 27k miles on it (was my grandfather’s last car). When I bought my ’16 Ram 2500 last month, I deliberately looked for a “lightly equipped” model, just so I could avoid all of the electronic crap… and was lucky to find just what I wanted. But that’s me… to each his own.

  • avatar
    AC

    My girlfriend has this feature in her Outback, it is part of the “EyeSight” system. Lane departure drives me crazy when it gets it wrong. I don’t mind being reminded that I’ve drifted from the lane, but when it beeps at me even though I am paying close enough attention to know I’m within my lane it makes me angry. I’ve even argued with the car. The worst behavior from the system I saw was in a construction zone with two sets of line striping offset from each other by several inches. The rest of the EyeSight system is nothing short of amazing. Blind spot monitoring is great, even though I look over my shoulder I still like having some extra confidence that no one is in the lane I’m signaling to move in to. Adaptive cruse control seems like a feature from the future, and it works really, really well. But the lane departure seems like a torture device meant to make people less healthy by raising their blood pressure.

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