Why Should I Use A Radar Detector?
This is a good question, especially if you are a law abiding citizen! Quite simply, to help you be more aware of your driving habits, to stay better alert on long road trips, to be more aware of traffic around you, and to be more aware of road conditions in general. Numerous NHTSA and state studies have shown that the majority of drivers tend to drive at speeds which they feel are both comfortable and safe for the general road conditions -- regardless of the posted speed limit. This is why the government and states saw a sudden drop in accident and highway death rates when speed limits were raised from the national 55 m.p.h. speed limit. What? That doesn't seem to make sense. After all, we have all been told for years that speed kills! When the national speed limit was 55 mph, most drivers ignored it. Yet many conscientious drivers did drive at the 55 mph speed limit. This created large discrepancies in the speeds of vehicles on our highways and interstates, and these speed discrepancies combined with other factors such as improper lane changes contributed to accidents. A U.S. government publication notes that motorists are much safer when all vehicles are traveling at very similar speeds. Lane changes, one of the prevailing causes of highway accidents, are in general much safer to accomplish if all of the surrounding vehicles are traveling at similar speeds.
Seven Reasons Why You Should Use A Radar Detector
First, because radar detectors are a lot of fun to use! A good bit of entertaining driving pleasure, especially on long road trips, can be derived from using a radar detector. It is fun to watch your radar detector detect and alert to radar which is being used by law enforcement. Even your kids will get into the act on long road trips, looking ahead and trying to spot a patrol car before you do. Patrol cars across our nation have a variety of different colors, paint schemes, and different city or state or county logos proudly displayed on them. Some patrol cars actually look quite pretty rather than having just merely functional paint schemes and logos. Your kids might have a lot of fun looking for patrol cars which are their favorite color.
Second, a radar detector can save you from being unfairly singled out for a speeding ticket. Numerous NHTSA and state studies have shown that the majority of drivers tend to drive at speeds which they feel are both safe and comfortable for the given road conditions -- regardless of the posted speed limit. Unfortunately on some roadways the speed limit is set at an unreasonably slower speed. The general public commonly refers to these areas as "speed traps". This is a good example of where a radar detector can save you from receiving a speeding ticket.
Third, a radar detector may actually help you to speed less. After using a radar detector for a few months, you will become much more aware of how active and serious law enforcement really is about patrolling our roadways, and you will naturally tend to drive at slower and safer speeds.
Forth, a radar detector can keep you more alert. Radar detector users report that they generally are much more aware of their driving habits, surrounding traffic, and overall road conditions. This extra "road awareness" is an important safety factor which can help you to avoid being in an accident.
Fifth, a radar detector can warn you of potentially dangerous road conditions due to traffic congestion ahead. Law enforcement, in their effort to make our highways safer, likes to operate radar in areas where both speeding and accidents are common. Thus a radar detector can serve as your advance warning system to alert you about upcoming road conditions or traffic congestion which could make your drive more dangerous. This is particularly useful when traveling through unfamiliar cities and suburbs on long road trips.
Sixth, a radar detector can warn you of an accident scene which is located a mile or more down the road ahead. Many law enforcement agencies teach their officers to leave their radar guns turned on when they are at an accident scene. Your radar detector can give you advance warning that "something is up" regarding the road ahead so that you can be ready to slow down.
Seventh, many municipalities have also implemented the Safety Warning System (SWS). Imagine having your SWS equipped radar detector warn you via a text message that a train is approaching or than an emergency vehicle is approaching. The life which your radar detector could save may well be your own.
So, there you have it! Seven good reasons to use a radar detector. Keep in mind that a radar detector is not going to make you immune from speeding tickets! Contrary to popular belief, this is not the intention of these products. Most of the current radar detector manufacturers do not condone speeding or breaking the law. Unfortunately, many years ago one particular radar detector manufacturer heavily advertised their "No speeding ticket guarantee" in an effort to try to set their products above all the rest. And more recently another company was shut down by the FCC for advertising radar jammer products which, aside from being proven in numerous independent tests to be completely ineffective, are also illegal to manufacture and sell.