Let’s face it; installing a radar detector in the car still remains a questionable and largely controversial topic. However, no matter how many eyebrows it raises, there are a large group of people who believe that having a radar detector in the car is a better accident deterrent than a hefty fine from a law enforcer’s ticket. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Sure, driving safely does the job well of preventing road accidents. But it’s hard to deny that drivers have their lapses in judgment even without the influence of alcohol or illegal substances. Sometimes this can be attributed to lack of sleep or the feeling of agitation from stress in the household. Nevertheless, as noble as some reasons can e for installing a radar detector, drivers have to be extremely careful when choosing a model. Here are some helpful pointers.
- It should be small.
Obviously, since radar detectors aren’t law enforcement’s best friends, buying and installing one that doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb is a must. A radar alarm that’s obnoxiously large can catch the attention of anyone who’s a few feet away from the car. The good news is that smaller radar detectors don’t logically mean that the performance is not as good. Just a detailed look at the Escort Passport S55 and its reviews can pretty much dispel the notion that bigger typically means better.
- It should have a reasonably loud alarm.
The point of having a radar detector on board is not only to detect whether there’s law enforcement with a speed gun nearby but also to inform the driver that they’re dangerously close to the speed limit. For that, the alarm should be loud enough to notify the driver but not too obnoxiously loud wherein the authorities who are probably a good couple of hundred feet away can hear. Conversely, it may also be a good idea to get a radar detector that has an optional alarm through visual cues. This is so that the beeping won’t wake up sleeping passengers.
- It filters false radio signals and only fires an alarm for correct detection.
A lot of radar detectors in the market are equipped with the capability to switch between city and highway modes. This feature in itself is great to have. However, there are instances where the driver forgets to switch to another mode. This is more likely to happen if the route goes through several nearby towns. Instead, it’s worth looking into radar detectors that have a complex layer of algorithms to detect false radio signals yet still be powerful enough to catch speed guns from hundreds of yards away.
- It can detect as much laser and radar bands as possible.
Radar detectors and speed guns constantly improve to stay on top of each other’s performance. Thus, it pays to have the latest model of radar detector installed, one that can catch as many radar bands and laser cues as possible. It will take a long time before law enforcement can cope with the most powerful radar detectors in the market. Until then we can hope that manufacturers are not taking things sitting down.