The idea behind lane sensor systems is simple: The car can tell when it is drifting out of the lane, meaning it could be entering oncoming traffic, a nearby traffic lane or just driving off the shoulder. To prevent accidents, it alerts the driver to this issue, and the driver can then correct their course.
The target drivers for these devices are clearly those who are distracted or impaired. If someone is paying attention, they should be able to stay in their lane all of the time. It’s when they’re looking away or their mind is wandering that they could inadvertently leave the lane and crash. If a sensor can grab their attention before the happens, it prevents an accident and saves lives.
No simple answers
You can see from the above that sensors can and do save lives through accident prevention. This is why they’re in use on most modern cars. But are there also risks?
Some have argued that technology turns people into complacent drivers who expect the car itself to keep them safe. This makes them worse drivers. If they think they can look down and write an entire text message, counting on the lane sensor to tell them if they start drifting off the road, they’re taking a dangerous risk. What if the sensor doesn’t work? What if there’s a glitch? Is being dependent on technology actually good for driving?
It’s not just lane sensors, but all technology. Take automatic braking. Yes, it can help a car stop if the driver fails to hit the brakes. But does that mean that drivers will be more likely to get distracted, just trusting that the car will stop before a crash?
After an accident
As you can see, the role of technology in cars is complex, and driving skills may be declining. If you get injured in an accident someone else causes, make sure you know what steps to take after that crash.