How Does Lane Departure Warning Work?

In a world with cell phones and infotainment systems adding to our many distractions while driving, lane departure warning is an important feature. If you’ve ever found yourself drifting out of your lane unintentionally, this feature can help warn you that you might need to adjust your steering. Let’s see how this safety feature works and what it means for your daily drive.

What does that warning sound mean?

Different automakers employ the warning sounds, lights, and feelings of lane departure warning in various ways. Regardless of how it’s deployed, this system alerts you when you’re drifting across the lane lines. My Car Does What tells us this system detects the lane markers using cameras or sensors and alerts you when your tire touches the lane marker.

What does the lane departure light mean?

Lane Departure Warning Light
Lane Departure Warning Light | Shutterstock

The light you see warns you that your vehicle is moving out of its current lane without turning on the signal to change lanes. If you turn your signal on, this system knows you intend to change lanes or make a turn and will not warn you. All systems use lights, most use sounds, and a few use vibrations in the driver’s seat as a warning.

What is the difference between lane keep assist and lane departure warning?

The simple difference between these two systems is that one is a warning while the other steers the car back into the lane for you. Typically, the departure warning alerts you that you’re drifting toward the adjacent lane, but if you don’t adjust the car back into the lane, the keep assist feature takes over and prevents your car from crossing the lane line. This can be frustrating when you want to make a lane change and forget to use your turn signal.

Hint: Use your turn signal if you want to change lanes.

Are some driving technologies bundled together?

This Lane Detection Diagram shows what car sensors detect to keep your car in the lane
Lane Detection Diagram | Shutterstock

Yes, many driving technologies often become bundled together. Along with lane departure warning and lane keep assist, you might find automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. The braking system will engage the brakes to help avoid a crash, and the cruise control system sets a specified distance between your car and the one in front of you and maintains it, regardless of the speed.

All four of these systems help drivers avoid crashes and make driving easier.

What are the top ten used cars with lane departure alerts?

Lane departure warning has been around for a while, and you can find some affordable used cars that include this feature. Autobytel offers this list of cars from 2016 and 2017 to give you some options when looking for your next used car:

  • Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
  • Toyota Avalon Limited
  • Cadillac ATS
  • Chrysler 200C
  • Hyundai Elantra Limited
  • Volkswagen Passat SEL Premium
  • Lincoln MKZ
  • Honda Civic Touring
  • Toyota Prius
  • Infiniti Q50

Which brand does lane departure technology the best?

According to Digital Trends, Honda has the best lane departure warning system. This feature, packaged in the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistance features, makes it easy to avoid drifting into the next lane or off the road. The Honda system takes things farther with the Road Departure Mitigation System. This system does more than simply keep the car in the lane; it prevents the vehicle from going off the road.

Check out the next article to learn how blind-spot monitoring works.

RELATED: Consumer Reports Suggests These Car Safety Features Would Revolutionize Road Safety