2012 Volvo S60 T5: Extra Safety Features
September 12, 2011
On the family road trip I did last week, I ended up driving back to my house pretty late at night for the return leg. It had already been a long day, and, yeah, I was tired. My family was asleep in the car. So it was up to me to ensure a safe return. I had an energy drink with me if I needed it but I also figured there wouldn't be any harm in clicking on the S60's extra safety features: lane departure, collision warning/braking and a drowsiness monitor.
Lane departure has a dedicated button on the dash, but the others have to be activated through the car's on-screen menu structure. Of the three, lane departure was the only one to activate on my drive -- one time I changed lanes without using the turn indicator and it didn't like that, and one time I drifted a bit too much in the lane, and I got a warning. Of course, had the collision warning or drowsiness monitor actually gone off, I would have probably been in worse shape.
Actually, I was half-expecting them to fire off. In prior experience, these systems can get more annoying than helpful as they freak out at the first sign of trouble and start beeping and flashing lights. But the S60 just drove normally. The collision warning system is configurable and can be set to Long, Normal and Short distance. I had it set to Normal. Lane Departure can also be adjusted for sensitivity.
Being configurable is key, I think, to making these systems more usable, as is the option to turn them off if you don't want them. All things considered, I was happy to have them along for the drive.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 5,473 miles