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Merging Into Highway Traffic Proves Difficult for Most Drivers
Drivaware reports lane changing on busy highways can be difficult for even the most experienced drivers. The secret is to plan ahead by knowing what other vehicles are doing around you.
In Drivaware's interactive demo on safe lane changes and merges, the car in the right lane is traveling faster than your car. Many impatient drivers will (wrongly) tailgate slower vehicles traveling
in the fast lane. Be proactive! Avoid this situation by staying right as much as is practical. In this example, it would be best to move your vehicle over to the right lane as soon as it is safe.
Be smarter than the other guy! Use your turn signal every time you change lanes along with the new
LaneFX system. Before you make your move, look in your side and rearview mirrors to make sure the
lane is clear. If there is another vehicle in the lane, or if there is another vehicle in the right lane behind you (at a distance) which is overtaking you at a fast speed, stay where you are. Wait
for that vehicle to pass you.
Remember you have blind spots, and that the blind spot on the right is larger than on the left. Before you change lanes, turn your head carefully to check the appropriate blind spot.
When you decide it is safe, turn the steering wheel in the direction you wish to go. Change lanes quickly, but smoothly. Do not wander as you change lanes. You always want to appear confident and
in control of the situation.
Once you've successfully negotiated the lane change, make sure your turn signal is off. This is important. If other drivers see that your turn signal is always on, they may not trust you on the
highway! They will never know when you want to turn and when you don't.
Basic Skills for Safer Commutes
Driving has changed a lot since most of us first got behind the wheel. This section will help you to keep a constant watch on your surroundings, the vehicles and people around you at all times.
An important factor to take into consideration when driving is to check your mirrors frequently, and also check the blind spots, by looking over your shoulders before switching lanes or making
turns. As we age, most of us become less flexible, so check out the information on this site about exercises that will keep you limber and help you drive safely.
Knowing the needs of other traffic like trucks, buses, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians is very important. For example, trucks should be provided with
extra space, as they need wider turning
lanes, watch out for buses, as they need to enter traffic from stopping lanes, and give pedestrians plenty of time to cross the road.
Everyone has one or two problematic areas of driving. Click the links on your right, to the areas that give you trouble. We can all improve our driving.
How To Avoid Car Gadgets & Choose the Right Park Assist Technology for Your Driving Safety
Aftermarket companies offer three types of backup systems: rear-view cameras, sensor systems, and mirror tilt-down. Use Types to
decide which type best suits your needs. For all camera and sensor systems, we recommend professional installation.
No matter what type of system you choose, consider these things when deciding on a specific model:
Know how the device mounts on your vehicle.
Camera and sensor systems that are mounted on the vehicle’s bumper or bodywork may necessitate drilling. They may not be the best choice if you lease your vehicle.
If you have a hitch, you can consider a model that mounts in the trailer-hitch receiver. But you would have to remove the system to use your hitch.
Other camera and sensor models mount on the license-plate frame. But some states prohibit frames because they can obscure the plate.
Within types, features vary. This is especially true with the sensor models we tested. The ultrasonic systems were generally the most sensitive, but their performance was adversely affected
by rain, snow, or other inclement weather.
The microwave-based sensor systems we tested were not affected by weather but are less sensitive as a group. They also don’t warn the driver unless the vehicle or object behind it is moving.
The display quality of the camera-based models is very good, although it doesn’t match that of the larger screens on some carmakers’ systems. Most of the system displays turn on when the
vehicle shifts into reverse, but one, the Audiovox, must be turned off and on manually.
Let me tell you about the coolest product I never reviewed. It's a wonderfully complex solution to a problem that shouldn't
even be a problem. This product, LaneFX, is a microcontroller that interacts with the side mirrors in your car.
You want to change lanes, and you glance in your side mirror. It looks clear. But in your LaneFX-equipped car, you can press a button and the mirror sweeps out to show you the blind spot
beyond the limit of your peripheral vision. Then it returns to its normal position. If you flick on your turn signal, the mirror also does its sweep.
It works on either side of the car, and it also has an extended mode for when you want to keep an eye on traffic alongside and behind you, as when you're merging onto a freeway. Now let's
say you're going to parallel-park. You slip your car into reverse—and the right mirror angles itself downward so you can see the curb.
Although that's the end of the LaneFX's bag of tricks, it's just the beginning of the ways it can be implemented. You can customize how far each mirror moves, how long it pauses, and how
long it takes to get there. You can even make mistakes in hooking up the wires to the mirror motors; the microcontroller has a learn mode so you can teach it which wires to use to control each
motion. An LCD screen prompts you through every step of the procedure.
LaneFX Standard Features to Make Every Lane Change Safer
Q. Even though LaneFX is ultra simple concept, you've managed to make LaneFX a very feature rich product. Correct?
A. Absolutely. Let me give you a brief walk through of the features and
add-on options of the LaneFX system:
- First we talked about the universal fit of LaneFX.
- Second, ease of installation (which you have to remember quick installations mean less cost of
ownership to the customer and faster seamless installations mean higher customer satisfaction). The way we were about to simplified installation on hundreds if not thousands of power mirror systems
is by using an Intelligent Learn Technology. So all the installer has to do is hook up a set of 3 wires on either side of LaneFX module. And then all the installer has to do is start learn mode
and the unit "learns" the
wiring setup of the vehicle and configures itself on that basis. No complex wiring diagram, no programming required.
- Third, all mirror movements are fully customizable at installation. We wanted to make
LaneFX as responsive to the driver and tailored to the driver's preferences as possible. So with every LaneFX unit, each driver can customize how far the mirror opens up, how long it pauses when it
gets there, and even how fast the mirror should move. You can control your preferences separately for the right and left mirror.
- LaneFX is intended to be a
concealed unit either under the dash or in the trunk. So these adjustments should be made at installation and you can always tweak them or change occasionally after that.
- Another feature we offer in
the system is control of both mirrors. So you control the left and right mirror separately or concurrently.
Q. And all of these features you mentioned are standard in every LaneFX box?
A. Yes. That's correct.
Q. But I also understand that you have a number of optional add-on components that a customer can choose to further enhance his/hers LaneFX system.
A. Our team has worked very diligently to research
what consumers would like to have in their complete LaneFX system. Let me share with you a quick list of what some of these options are:
- First is a very inexpensive add-on component we have that we think
is going to be very popular, especially among entry level domestic vehicles is the optional Mirror Speed Boost. With this component owners of vehicles with slow moving power mirrors
can safely boost their mirror movement speeds up to 200% of OEM speed. This will provide drivers with a way to ensure that LaneFX movement is responsive to their driving needs. All of the mirror speeds
are customizable by the driver from 80% to 200% of OEM speed, and those adjustments can be done separately for left and right mirrors.
- Second we have a great optional component that's quite frankly
is a driver awareness system in and of itself: ParkFX. ParkFX is an active park assist and curb exposure system that uses your side mirrors
to expose the parking boundaries around your vehicle as your backing up. Much in the same LaneFX moves your mirror outward to expose the blind spot next to you and behind you, ParkFX
tilts the blind spot mirror downward when you put the vehicle in reverse to expose either
the parking lines let's say if you were in a mall parking lot, or more importantly to expose the curb in parallel parking situations. When you take the car out of reverse, the mirror comes back to
its original position, every single time. Just like LaneFX, ParkFX is universal and fully-customizable to the driver's preferences. The system
works on any vehicle, new or old, domestic or import, manual or automatic transmission. And you can choose to have ParkFX control the left, right or both mirrors. And to be complete, you can also configure
at installation how much ParkFX should tilt each of these mirrors when the vehicle is backing up. So for a big SUV, you can choose the blind spot mirrors to tilt down farther than say someone who drives
a small sedan. Everything is universal and fully-customizable to your needs.
- Thirdly is an add-on component we are very proud of: our Turn Signal Link integration kit. I put my blinker on and that activates
LaneFX to show me my blind spot before I change lanes? Yes exactly. And you can also configure the Turn Signal Link integration kit to activate only when the vehicle is moving above certain speed,
like over 55mph to have it only activate on when you're on the highway, or say over 35mph in an urban city setting.
- The forth in our options list is a plug-and-play wireless controls kit. We've heard time and time again that drivers would
ideally like the LaneFX controls at the finger tips, just like your horn or turn signal stalk. this tiny module I am holding is an example of a left-hand wireless control. So we designed this wireless
kit so that installers never have to worry about running wires to the steering wheel (which is a no no) and to give the customer to place the controls anywhere. The wireless controls kit includes two
controls for left and right and is designed to fit behind one of your steering-wheel spokes. The placement is meant to avoid competing with the increasing number of OEM buttons on the front
of the steering wheel. Also the placement behind the top spoke make the LaneFX control within the reach of a finger tip without having to move a hand off the steering wheel regardless in you drive
with your hands in the 10-to-2 position or racing style.
- One more plug-and-play optional component which is our Speed Sensitivity Mode. This is an
add-on component that integrates with OBDII port of virtually any vehicle and continuously reads the vehicle speed. The LaneFX module is pre-programmed to take advantage of this option and it then
produces more dynamic mirror movement based on the vehicle speed. This ensures an ever greater degree of responsiveness to the driver's needs in real-time. So LaneFX moves the mirror faster at say
70mph than at 55mph? Exactly right, and it also pauses less when it reaches its maximum expansion angle at higher speeds.
LaneFX is More Than Just a Car Gadget
Many of the latest car models include systems that alert you when a car is in your
blind spot. Those of us with older autos have had rely on our own road skills -- until now. Drivaware has introduced LaneFX: When you activate your turn signal,
the device moves the corresponding side-view mirror to expose your blind spot and any vehicles that may be hiding in it. Of course, if you remember your driver's training, a quick glance over your
shoulder does essentially the same thing. The LaneFX is compatible with any car that has power mirrors and is available in a Basic Edition ($197), Highway Edition ($242) and Commuter Edition ($296).
LaneFX Driver Safety Products Are On Sale!
See the current specials and promotions and get your LaneFX for less. Save up to 20% on LaneFX products and we usually ship the same day.
Special discounts are available for Volvo XC90, S80 owners, owners of Audi vehicles equipped with SideAssist, all AARP members, and current AllState policy holders.
|Defensive Driving: Self-Study Program
Teach driver safety to your own employees onsite, in about 90 minutes, with the National Safety Council’s NEW Defensive Driving Course (DDC) Self-Study Program. Based on our proven effective
Defensive Driving Course, it’s perfect for individual motorists or fleet drivers unable to attend regular DDC classes. Special Offer
During National Safety Month!
|New 5-Minute Safety Talks Available Now!
Available exclusively to members of the National Safety Council, Safety Talks provide a year's worth of topics for your monthly safety meetings! Bulletin boards, rule books, signs
and posters are all great ways to present your safety messages, but there's no substitute for straight talk! That's why we've developed two collections of sixteen 5-Minute
Safety Talks, each with English and Spanish text. You can purchase the sets individually, or as a combo set at a discounted price during National Safety Month.
Defensive Driving On-line Training
The National Safety Council now offers four online training options tailored to fit your budget and your employees' schedule. Based on their classroom counterparts, these online programs
use state-of-the-art animation, video, narration, and interactive screens to teach your employees defensive driving techniques.
Virtual Defensive Driving Course
The new Virtual Defensive Driving Course (Virtual DDC) from NSC and Raydon combines the proven defensive driving course curriculum with actual behind-the-wheel driving time in a simulated
environment. This virtual driving instruction allows drivers to gain important insight AND experience in potentially hazardous situations.
This guide to teen driver safety assists families in understanding and managing the journey their teens will travel from beginner to independent driver. The guide takes years of scientific
data and translates it into practical information for parents and teens to use in reducing teen crash risk.
This FREE CD-ROM contains a wealth of information on safety and health issues that impact people of all ages – children to older adults – in a variety of settings – at work,
on the road, in homes, and in the community. The SHP Center receives funding from various federal agencies which allows it to develop programs and materials to offer to the public. The resources
available on the Safety 24-7 CD-ROM offer solutions that are designed to help you make a difference.