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Radar detectors and road safety

Radar detectors have long been associated with road safety. Law enforcement has been using radar technology to check vehicle speed since the 1950s. The radar detector was the brainchild of Dale Smith, who invented it in the early 1970s after falling prey to a speed trap himself. This device was known as Fuzzbuster - widely regarded as the first-ever radar detector.

Radar detectors have been a much-debated subject among law enforcement of different countries. Opponents consider it to be a device for legalised law-breaking, whereas users swear by it as a trusted method to control over-speeding. Many people think that the use of radar detectors has encouraged reckless driving behaviour - however, there are no studies to validate that opinion. As far as we are aware, there exists no empirical evidence to substantiate the idea that radar detector users drive at a greater speed than their counterparts.

There are surveys, however, which point out that radar detector users have fewer accidents per kilometre. (Yankelovich Clancy Shulman Report 1987 in the USA, MORI Report 2001 in the UK, and ADRA Survey 2000 in Australia. Source:adra.com.au). Another survey showed that trucking companies which follow a non-detector policy faced more number of accidents than those without such prohibition.

What can a radar detector do for me?

This is the big question people to consider whether or not to purchase a radar detector.

If you frequently exceed the speed limit, a radar detector may be a good purchase. An alert from your radar detector will, in all probability, cause you to assess your speed and slow down if necessary.

Studies have also shown that a regular use of radar detectors while driving may also alter a driver’s on road behaviour.