How Volkswagen Helps Reduce Distracted Driving

March 6th, 2018 by

Credit: @vw via Instagram

Distracted driving is deadly and on the rise. An estimated 1 in 4 car accidents is the result of texting while driving, and texting while driving is estimated to be four times as dangerous as driving drunk. To illustrate the danger, imagine that you are in a car traveling at 60 mph down the highway. At that speed, your car travels 88 feet every second. On average, it takes between four and five seconds to read a text and send a simple, “OK”. At 88 feet per second, that means that your car will travel 440 feet in five seconds – the equivalent of closing your eyes for five seconds at 60 mph in heavy traffic.

In an effort to ensure safer drivers, many carmakers have turned to technology. Volkswagen has been a particularly vocal proponent of evolved driving concepts that can help drivers more adequately respond to dangers on the road. Currently on sale at Rudolph Volkswagen of El Paso in El Paso, TX is an array of vehicles with autonomous features that increase safe driving by reducing (if not eliminating) distracted driving. Among the Volkswagen features currently on the market are:

  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Anti-Slip Regulation
  • Electronic Differential Lock
  • Front Assist
  • Lane Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control

Each of these systems is classified as either a Level 1 system, which is designed as mostly a warning, or a Level 2 system. Level 2 systems can execute simple, automated commands (like voice calls) but still require the driver to be completely alert and attentive.

Credit: @vw via Instagram

Electronic Stability Control

Volkswagen has led the way in El Paso and around the country by developing and deploying ESC three years before it was required on all makes and models. The system integrates with the antilock brakes, and together the two detect the direction the car is moving. This information is then cross-referenced with the direction the steering wheel is pointed. If the two things differ, the ESC adjusts the yaw until the wheels match the direction the driver wishes to go. The system is intelligent and can differentiate between one wheel and another and only affects the wheels that are pointed differently. This is a Level 1 system that allows the driver to maintain focus through helping with steering.

Credit: @vw via Instagram

Anti-Slip Regulation

This system also integrates with the ABS to detect one or more wheels spinning faster than the others. As before, Volkswagen led the way by deploying this system in 2009 while others waited until 2012. The ASR improves traction and improves the effectiveness of both the ABS and the ESC. It’s also a Level 1 system, and it lets drivers keep their eyes on the road instead of on the dash.

Credit: @vw via Instagram

Electronic Differential Lock

This system improves cornering by exerting pressure on the inside wheels when moving around a curve at high speed. It reduces understeer and wheel spinning and increases traction and control. It is a third Level 1 system that gives the driver confidence in being able to stay on the road in a corner, reducing thoughts of, “Will I make this?”

Credit: @vw via Instagram

Front Assist

Front Assist is the first Level 2 system on most late model Volkswagens. Forward-facing sensors constantly monitor vehicles and other obstacles in front of your car as you drive along the road. If something changes with the objects in front of you, such as a sudden reduction in speed or the appearance of a large boulder during a rock fall, the system will warn you of an impending collision. If you don’t respond or fail to provide enough braking pressure, the system will take over and do it for you in an effort to avoid the collision or, at the very least, reduce the damage. If you happen to do something that will result in you driving distractedly, such as sending ill-advised text messages, the system could very well mean the difference between life and death. It’s not a cure-all, however, so you should always keep alert and aware of your surroundings while driving.

Credit: @vw via Instagram

Lane Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control

These Level 2 systems combine with the various Level 1 braking technologies and Front Assist to provide help staying “on the straight-and-narrow.” If the car swerves out of its lane, for example, the assistant will play a tone and then, if necessary, move the car back into the lane itself. The same applies if vehicles slow down while the Volkswagen’s driver is using the cruise control. The ACC will slow the car down to the speed of the cars ahead. All of these items help people with safe driving.

Rudolph Volkswagen of El Paso in El Paso, TX is proud to provide models that incorporate all of these technologies.

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