Does your vehicle have a lane departure warning system? This safety feature is designed to prevent high-speed collisions on highways and freeways. Let’s take a closer look at how this system works and why you should consider a vehicle with a lane departure warning system.
What Is a Lane Departure Warning System?
Lane departure warnings help prevent collisions while drifting or leaving your lane. When a tire hits a lane marker, the system identifies it and warns you by activating a flashing indicator or producing a beeping noise from the opposite side of the vehicle. The steering wheel or driver’s seat gently vibrates in some systems. However, most lane departure warning systems will not notify you when your turn signal is on.
This system might be called a different name depending on your vehicle manufacturer. Honda and Acura call theirs a lane keeping assist system (LKAS), while Toyota and Lexus call theirs a lane monitoring system (LMS). You can always consult your vehicle manual to know if your vehicle has this feature.
How Does a Lane Departure Warning System Work?
Some lane departure warning/lane keeping assist systems require a button press, while others switch on automatically. When the system is active, this button will have an activated indication light.
How your lane departure warning system works will depend on your vehicle’s specific make and model. Most systems use cameras to determine when a vehicle crosses lane marker lines on the road. Some systems include two cameras, one on each side of the rearview mirror. Others scan the environment using infrared sensors installed under the front bumper.
Most systems also offer steering input assist in addition to the camera. Lane keeping assist gradually turns the steering wheel in the opposite direction of the lane boundary to keep your vehicle within the left and right lane lines. The tugging on your steering wheel may become heavier as your car approaches the lane markers in these systems.
Lane Departure Warning vs Blind Spot Detection
Lane departure warning and blind spot detection features often come in a single system. However, they’re two different safety features. Here’s how they differ:
Lane departure warning systems use cameras that scan the road ahead to detect lane drift when the turn signal is off. Meanwhile, blind spot detection systems utilize sonar or radar sensors that cover the back and sides of the vehicle.
The latter warns the driver when a car approaches swiftly into a blind spot through a warning light on your side mirror or on the A-pillar. An icon showing two cars side-by-side lights up in the mirror.
Blind spot detection systems only provide a haptic or audible warning if the turn signal is activated. On the contrary, lane departure warnings are activated when the turn signal is off.
Should My Next Car Have a Lane Departure Warning System?
If you drive plenty of highway miles, getting a vehicle with a lane departure warning system makes sense. Most lane departure warning/lane keeping assist systems work best on highways and some only work at speeds above 35 miles per hour.
Lane departure warning, along with blind spot recognition, is near the top of the list of available driver-assistance devices in terms of boosting safety. With that in mind, there’s no reason not to get a vehicle with lane departure warning.
Diagnosing and Servicing a Lane Departure Warning System
Like any other system in your vehicle, your lane departure warning system might need to be serviced and repaired over time.
Your mechanic might check the sensors and cameras for damage to help diagnose problems within the system. They will likely check for damage caused by road debris.
Diagnosing and repairing your lane departure warning system requires in-depth vehicle repair knowledge. If you don’t have the technical know-how to get the job done, take your vehicle to an auto repair shop.
Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.