So you are on your way to work running late for an important meeting when you take a turn around a bend in the road and when you straighten out again you see lights
flashing and a siren behind you. You were caught speeding, and now not only are you going to have to pay an expensive speeding ticket but your insurance is also going to get more expensive. All of this could have been avoided with one simple tool, one simple piece of equipment, a radar detector.
First, we need to learn how a radar gun works before we can understand how a radar detector functions. Most radar guns work by transmitting radio waves and bouncing them off objects (your vehicle) and then receiving them again. A radar detector however detects the radio waves the radar gun is transmitting before it can reflect off your vehicle. So by being able to pick up these waves you are able know when someone is measuring your speed, most specifically police officers.
Radar detectors come in 3 main types cordless, corded and remote mounted units. Corded units are usually the cheapest and the plug right into your car’s cigarette lighter and they typically have better range. One corded radar detector unit we looked at was the Escort 8500. It was very easy to install and detected radars 10/10 times we tested it. The only drawback is the high price tag of $300, but when you think about the money it will save you on speeding tickets, it is well worth it!
Cordless units lack in many areas. They need to have batteries replaced constantly and have more limited range and functionality tan corded counter-parts. The upside however, is that you have no cords and your cigarette lighter is free to be used for other such things. There are only a few high quality cordless models one of them is Escort’s Solo 2. It has surprisingly good range despite other cordless models but it is still not up to par with a corded detector.
The final type of radar detectors are remote mounted units. These detectors are typically more concealed than other detectors but are more expensive and not very easy to remove. These should always be professionally installed.
Radar detectors are legal in most U.S. states excluding Virginia and Washington D.C. Radar detectors are also illegal on or near military bases or camps. Commercial trucks that exceed 10,000 pounds are not permitted to have radar detectors in them. Police use special technology that can detect when a radar is being used and track it’s location down as well.
A radar detector is a necessity for any automobile driver that may get a little heavy-footed. Although no radar detector will work 100% of the time, they might save you from pesky speeding tickets once in a while. They can be expensive but if they save you from paying tickets and higher insurance costs it is well worth it.