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Everything you need to know about Lane Departure Alert

Mar 07, 2017

Lane Departure Alert

Distracted or tired driving can quickly lead to accidents, especially if drivers unintentionally drift out of their lanes. Because we all deserve to arrive safely, Toyota is offering Lane Departure Alert and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist to more drivers.

These systems, which help keep drivers in their lanes, are an important part of Toyota Safety Sense™ (TSS), a suite of advanced safety features to be included on virtually every vehicle produced by Toyota by Autumn 2017.

TSS is offered in the form of two packages: Toyota Safety Sense™ C (TSS-C) for compact vehicles and Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) for midsize and large vehicles. TSS-C offers Lane Departure Alert, while TSS-P offers Lane Departure Alert with an additional Steering Assist function.

Learn more about what these systems are and how they work to find out why Toyota is making them standard on nearly all of their upcoming vehicles.

What is Lane Departure Alert?

Toyota’s Lane Departure Alert is a safety system designed to help drivers avoid accidents if they unintentionally move out of their lane.

If drowsiness or distraction causes you to drift, Lane Departure Alert will notify you with audio and visual alerts as soon as it notices your vehicle begin to deviate. When these alerts occur, you must check the surrounding road situation and carefully operate the steering wheel to move your vehicle back to the centre part of your lane.

TSS-P equipped vehicles with Electronic Power Steering (EPS) will also feature a Steering Assist function that may provide small corrective steering inputs.

How does it work?

When driving at speeds above approximately 50 km/h on relatively straight roadways, Toyota’s Lane Departure Alert will attempt to determine your vehicle’s position within its lane using an in-vehicle camera designed to detect visible white-and-yellow lane markings.

If the system determines that your vehicle is starting to unintentionally deviate from its lane, a buzzer will sound and, depending on the direction you’re drifting, one of the lane markings on your dashboard’s multi-information display will begin to flash.

Together, these warnings tell you to check the surrounding road situation and carefully operate the steering wheel to move your vehicle back to the centre of your lane. (These alerts will not activate when you operate your turn signals to intentionally cross lane markings.)

If your vehicle includes Steering Assist (available in some TSS-P equipped vehicles), the system may provide small corrective steering inputs for a short period of time to help keep the vehicle in its lane. If your vehicle is equipped with this feature, you can also adjust alert sensitivity settings and turn the Steering Assist function on and off.

Why is it so important?

Accidents resulting from vehicles drifting out of their lanes are a big issue. In fact, according to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), single-vehicle accidents that involve the vehicle leaving the road account for an alarming 40 percent of fatal crashes and 21 percent of non-fatal crashes in the U.S.

Although features that alert the driver or help guide the car back into place are not enough if people are physically unable to control their cars, researchers at IIHS say they are worthwhile safety measures if the vehicle is drifting due to a distracted driver, which is increasingly common.More than two-thirds of Americans surveyed by the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety reported talking on their phone while driving at least once in the last month, and most of those respondents said that they didn’t use a hands-free device.

People can also veer into another lane if they’re feeling extremely drowsy or, as the AAA survey put it, so tired that they’re having “a hard time keeping their eyes open.” Even though more than 95 percent of respondents said that driving under these conditions was unacceptable, more than a quarter admitted to doing so at least once in the past 30 days, and eighteen percent said they’d done it more than once.

Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist is designed to read lane markers under certain conditions and provide visual and audible alerts and slight steering force when lane departure is detected. It is not a collision-avoidance system or a substitute for safe and attentive driving. Please see, your local Toyota Dealer or Owner’s Manual for details.