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2017 Toyota Highlander safety features

I have a question regarding all the alleged safety features on newer vehicles. My 2017 Toyota Highlander has the Lane Departure Alert, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System. They work great in most weather conditions, except when I really need them to function. I live in Colorado where we have elements known as snow and slush. When I really needed the safety features to function coming down a snowy mountain highway, a warning came on that none of the features were available and that I needed to clean the sensors. What’s the point of having “safety” features that don’t work when you need them the most? I had to go back and rely on my old reliable winter driving skills. Do other manufacturers have the same issue? I’d be happy to trade the Highlander for a different vehicle if the safety features work when I need them. Elle J

When the sensors on any vehicle are covered they will not work. Actually in the conditions you describe a person should not be relying on those functions anyway. There is nothing wrong with your vehicle. How would the lane departure work if the lane marker stripes are covered with snow ? They won’t.


Yes, you’re not going to find other cars that can deal with those conditions, I bet. Snow covers the sensors, and covers the road. It’s up to you in those situations.

Does make one wonder about ‘self driving cars’, and what they’d do in those situations…

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To answer your question, yes, all current systems use a combination of sensors that can be blocked or disabled by not just snow and ice, but also direct sunlight. Try and relax. These systems have been proven to reduce crashes. Automakers are working on getting the sensors to be 100% weatherproof at a price the typical Highlander shopper can afford, but the imagineering is still in process.

You should never not rely on those. The extra safety features at there to supplement, not replace. With that said, you could always simply clean off the sensors before setting off if if you know you’re likely to encounter adverse weather conditions.

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