With the ongoing advances in technology, driving a car becomes simpler each year. It’s unusual to see a car today without some form of smart feature designed to lure you into purchasing it. Sure, they’re nifty and fun to play with, but did you know that some of these features can even prevent you from getting traffic tickets? Imagine knowing just when that traffic light will turn red, or having your car automatically stop at a stop sign. Once they come to fruition, your car insurance and driving records will be impeccable, and it’s all thanks to technology.
Traffic Light Timers
BMW is the first car to offer integrated traffic light timers in its dashboard. With this feature, you can eliminate the guesswork and see just how much time you have until that green light turns red. What’s really cool about this feature is that it will even detect your turn signal and count down a dedicated turning light if there’s one available. Like most technology advances, this one comes with a few catches. First, it only works with an iPhone app called EnLighten, and your phone must be in the car for it to work. Second, it requires that the city or town you are driving in to have a smart network of traffic lights, so it’s only available in a few select cities.
Intelligent Speed Limiter
You’re cruising down the highway, listening to your favorite tunes on the radio when suddenly, your bliss is interrupted by the sound of sirens behind you. Caught up in the moment, you got caught speeding. Ford is working to put a stop to these unnecessary tickets with its Intelligent Speed Limiter system. It not only recognizes and stops at stop signs, it also uses integrated cameras to read speed limit signs. If it detects speeding, it’ll stop delivering fuel to your engine until the speed is more in-line with the posted limit. Of course, like most smart features, you can override this with a simple tap on the accelerator, but why would you want to?
There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than handing over the keys to your teen driver who just finished a driver’s education course with his license in hand. Driving at this point is new and exciting, and teens aren’t always aware of the repercussions of their actions. While it’s important to teach your teen how to drive responsibly, thanks to technology you can get a full report card that outlines just how well they did on their own. The Teen Driver app available on the 2016 Chevy Malibu lets you know how many alerts they received for various categories including speeding, near collisions and stability.
GPS Detection of Roadside Cameras
Imagine if your GPS could alert you to an upcoming roadside camera, so that you had time to slow down before you approached it? Hyundai has installed this feature in its 2015 Genesis. It’s currently not available in the United States (yet). In a pilot program, Hyundai is offering this technology in Australia and South Korea as a means to get drivers to slow down. While there are concerns that it could inhibit the real purpose of speeding traps, it also aims to prevent the last-minute brake slamming that can lead to accidents.
Eliminating Drunk Driving
Each year 10,000 Americans die as a result of drunk driving, whether they hit someone else while under the influence or were killed because of someone else’s poor decisions. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is working on technology that will automatically detect whether a driver is drunk through touchpads. The technology won’t be highly visible, but it will prevent the driver from operating the car which the DOT hopes will in turn prevent so many deaths as a result.
If you’ve been caught and issued a traffic citation, you have numerous options available to you. Traffic and defensive driving schools not only help reduce or eliminate your fines, they also help to avoid getting points on your license. Even better, if you sign up for traffic school voluntarily, you’ll often be rewarded by your car insurance company with lower rates, talk about a win-win!