Safety fea­tures down to driver

Warwick Daily News - - NEWS - BLOWIN’A GALE AN­DREW GALE an­drew.gale@mail.com

CAR sales ad­ver­tis­ing is all around us.

It is a con­stant.

It’s amaz­ing how many min­utes per day we are bom­barded by ve­hi­cle mar­ket­ing at any and every ad­ver­tis­ing op­por­tu­nity.

TV, ra­dio, bill­boards, news­pa­pers and the in­ter­net to name just a few.

To me it’s white noise that I rarely no­tice un­less some­thing par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing pops out, or I’m ac­tu­ally in the mar­ket for a new ve­hi­cle.

Which I have been lately. Some­times car ads stick out be­cause they are ex­cit­ing.

Who old enough could ever for­get the “Chrysler Sigma – it’s a sen­sa­tion” ad­ver­tis­ing of a few decades ago?

A catchy jin­gle and the mighty Sigma burst­ing through and shat­ter­ing a mir­ror glass panel per­fectly timed to the mu­sic.

Pity the car wasn’t up to the hype.

But the ad­vert was a rip­per.

One thing that got my at­ten­tion was a car man­u­fac­turer spruik­ing the lat­est safety de­vice. Lane de­par­ture warn­ing. “What the?” I ex­claimed to my­self when I saw this.

The car now tells us if we are go­ing out of our lane?

Yep, that’s about it.

“Lane de­par­ture warn­ing alerts you that your car is about to veer out of lane and warns you to get back into lane,” one ma­jor man­u­fac­turer tells us in their blurb about this.

Now I don’t know about you, but I al­ways thought that was a pretty ba­sic fea­ture that hope­fully is in­stalled in all drivers.

No­tice I said drivers – not cars.

A driver, prop­erly in­structed and alert, needs to be pay­ing at­ten­tion to many things.

Speed, dis­tances, gauges, changes in speed zones, traf­fic con­di­tions, other cars and so on and of all things, road po­si­tion!

When I in­struct new drivers, I try to force two big things into them.

1. Al­ways look ev­ery­where and no­tice what’s hap­pen­ing all around you.

2. Main­tain your road po­si­tion, keep­ing left.

I thought fur­ther about this and read some more.

Read about how it’s a great fea­ture for peo­ple who drive a lot of miles, be­cause they get tired.

Yep, I can see what they are get­ting at, but how about not driv­ing while you are tired?

I think some­one else has come up with that be­fore.

It’s one of the Fa­tal Five isn’t it?

Re­mem­ber them? 1. Don’t speed. 2. Don’t drink or drug drive. 3. Wear seat­belts. 4. Fa­tigue. 5. Dis­trac­tion.

I can also see where “lane de­par­ture warn­ing” would help if you were break­ing more of the Fa­tal Five.

In my ex­pe­ri­ence I have no­ticed lots of peo­ple lose their road po­si­tion and crash when they are dis­tracted (like send­ing a text on the mo­bile or chang­ing a CD), drink drivers, speed­ers and those who are tired.

Please, let’s al­ways re­mem­ber the Fa­tal Five.

Oh and don’t get me started on blind spot de­tec­tion ei­ther. Same thing, we’ve had that for years. In our drivers.

It’s called turn­ing your head.

If this is the way of the fu­ture I say just bring on the driver­less cars and take away the nut be­hind the wheel com­pletely.

Ei­ther that, or bring back the Sigma. Af­ter all, it’s sen­sa­tional!

Don’t get me started on blind spot de­tec­tion ei­ther. We’ve had that for years. In our drivers. It’s called turn­ing your head. — An­drew Gale

PHOTO: KEVIN FARMER

ALERT: Drivers need to pay at­ten­tion to many things while on the road.

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