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Can your car drive better than you do?

No! But you know that. Now IIHS know it. too. Lane departure warning systems offer more trouble than they cure by annoying us.

I know what you’re thinking, but tell me anyway!

They probably just startle the driver who then over corrects.

There were times when I drove all night and started having hallucinations. They were great but I chickened out and stopped for a nap. The only vision I didn’t see was the police car that pulled me over later in the day. Appropriately, the town was called Mars Hill. That has to count for something even though it wasn’t as good as my visions. The car must have driven better than I could have…

Good drivers think they’re a waste of money. Bad drivers don’t want another accident on their record and think this will help.

There were times when I drove all night and started having hallucinations. They were great but I chickened out and stopped for a nap. The only vision I didn't see was the police car that pulled me over later in the day. Appropriately, the town was called Mars Hill. That has to count for something even though it wasn't as good as my visions. The car must have driven better than I could have..

I had those long-haul hallucinations once. I was far from anything, so I stopped in the ditch and took a nap. Unfortunately, it didn’t cure me. I woke up still seeing things. I thought I had some kind of mission to perform to the south, so I turned the car around and headed further away from home. I eventually came to my senses and realized I was going the wrong way. I’m sure there are times when a car could drive better than I could, such as when I can’t even go in the right direction.

Can my car drive better then I ? The older I get, the closer to that realism I get. Abs brakes and other aids are capable of doing more then most drivers can do on their own.

I agree with Keith’s theory…“They probably just startle the driver who then over corrects”.

Back in my days as a limo driver, I can think of a couple of occasions when this technology would have helped. I can recall driving on I-78, around 3:00 AM, after an extended wait in Manhattan for one of our clients. Yes, I did get paid by the hour, but having to wait 4 extra hours for him to finish his dinner and drinks put me on the road much later than my usual bedtime, and the result was that I kept nodding-off behind the wheel after I dropped him off and then had to drive another hour to reach my own home.

Luckily, the road was totally devoid of other traffic at the time, and drifting off the road in the Fleetwood Limo and hitting some gravel is probably the only thing that woke me up sufficiently to keep me alive. If that car (early '80s vintage) had been equipped with this type of technology, it definitely would have helped me in that situation.

However, that Fleetwood was equipped with GM’s V-8-6-4 technology (nicknamed “V-8-6-4-2-zero”), about which, “the less that is said, the better”.

When I saw the topic of this discussion, I figured we were talking about cars that actually drive themselves, but this appears to be about lane departure systems, not self-driving cars.

I think the solution to inattentive drivers is to revoke their driver’s licenses or train them to be attentive drivers. Technology is not the answer.

I see this issue like I see personnel issues at work. Some managers dislike confrontation, so instead of sitting down a bad employee and addressing the issue, they come up with new systems or reorganize whole departments instead. I call that “trying to solve a personnel problem with a systemic solution.” It never works. The boss doesn’t want to face the ugly truth that he or she is unqualified to train and manage employees, so everyone gets moved around until it isn’t the boss’ problem anymore.

The simple answer is no, I cannot drive better than a self-driving car. Having worked as a professional driver, I sometimes boast that I am the safest driver I know, but I still admit mass transit is safer. Taking even the safest driver out of the equation by putting her or him on a bus or a train makes the roads safer.

Until we develop the backbone to revoke driver’s licenses from dangerous drivers, we’re just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Funny you should mention the 8-6-4 within the context of this thread. Electronic guidance is in its infancy much like the 8-6-4 was back then. Look how many mfrs now use that same approach to achieve mpg improvements and while I’ve only driven two models using it, the technology made it feel seamless.

Probably not too distant future we’ll accept some level of electronic control as normal and seamless…

rember safe driving is a mentael thing its up to all of use to share the road and all of these safty extra our to help use, but rember its up to use commen sence when driving a ccar or a big rig today expect the unexpected don’t assume anything out there. abs is a great tool it has saved me a couple of times on a wet road buy helping me keep countrol of my car when i have a mentel break down.

I’ll admit that I used a bombastic title hoping to create interest. IMO, startling the driver is the issue, and I’m not sure how to get around it except to eliminate or turn off the system. Maybe having it available for a driver to turn on when they are unfit to drive is a good idea. Getting off the road seems like a better one, though. It’s been a long time since I drove when I was extremely tired. I kept awake by opening the windows. Wind in my face was annoying enough to keep we awake; or so it seemed at the time. I suppose it is hard to separate the times the LDS helped from the times it cause an accident since saves are never reported. As any of you more seasoned readers can attest, our own best qualities are a detriment at some times.

I’m with whitey on this one. Until drivers take driving seriously, master the basics, and pay attention instead of yakking on the phone, texting, reading the newspaper, putting on makeup, and lord knows what else, there will be a safety problem. People have lane departure accidents when they intentionally change lanes because few people know how to adjust mirrors properly and holding the stupid phone to your face blocks peripheral vision. If we can’t even get that one right, how is technology that can be turned off going to help?

MarkM states that bad drivers will not want another accident on their record. I have NEVER seen a bad driver that is aware that they’re a bad driver. Everybody thinks they are the best on the road. The accidents are always “the other guy’s fault”. Professional drivers like Whitey and myself will tell you that a lot of accidents that are “the other guys fault” could be avoided if people followed basic rules of defensive driving.

The studies in the articke were apparently not statistically significant sample sizes, so it’s hard to draw any conclusions with any confidence. I worry more about systems such as these, as well as those currently mandated like TPMS and stability control, driving the cost of new vehicles up to where the average driver can no longer afford them. The net result would be more people driving older and older cars.

Think about the young working class. If those systems become mandated on the econocars, like the Fiat 500 and the others, the cost of those cars will be driven up to where there’ll no longer be anything they can afford but beaters. So they’ll buy beaters. Would it not be safer for them to be driving a new car without any more systems than we already mandate?

Good point TSM. Another issue I have with mandated technology is, eventually it breaks, then you have a needless gadget that you have to pay $1,000 to have repaired to get the dang car inspected. I detest when expensive technology is mandated to protect people from themselves. We should be mandating higher standards for driver licensing, both in regard to getting AND keeping the license!

Personally, I wouldn’t like my car correcting my course. Even watching cruise control make adjustments is unnerving so I only use it when there’s absolutely nobody around and there’s miles of visibility (rare in New England).
Those self parking cars are for dummies that never learned to parallel park. Just learn how to parallel park already: job done.

It starts as a good idea but it is one that can’t be implemented.
I don’t think they can create a dummy proof car because dummies are way to ingenious to mess it up.
Just learn how to drive properly.

I agree, Doubleclutch. We sink billions into trying to make th cars idiotprooof but don’t seem to put any resources into better training the idiots. Driver ed in this country, and I would argue driver qualification as well, has an awful lot of room for improvement.

As regards the automatic arking systems, I’m fine with it as long as it’s not made mandatory. Since 5mph bumpers were made mandatory, I would not put it past the regulators to make automatic parking systems mandatory as well.

Based on my experiences when my kids were learning to drive, I don’t think the schools know how to teach parallel parking. My daughter could not do so until I spent some time with her. I used three toy cars, one with steerable wheels, and a stick of wood as a curb. I showed her what she was doing wrong and what she’d need to do to correct it. We went on the road and she “nailed” three parallel parks in a row.

Bad drivers don’t admit they’re bad, but I’ve known several who were scared they’d wreck another car or lose their insurance. Funny what bad luck they have. Sigh.

A guy I know recently told me he wrecked his car 3 times in the last 2 months. I asked “What the hell are you doing”? He said “None of them were my fault”. Yeah sure. I’ve seen him driving like a nitwit on the road. Good drivers don’t wreck three times in two months, no matter who’s fault it is. A lot of people seem to drive with the attitude that wrecks are OK as long as they can be blamed on someone else. If you do this as a commercial driver, your boss ain’t gonna go for it!