Updates on the Drive Smarter® App
With the release of the updated Drive Smarter application, we introduced several major features, including support for brand-new devices like the Escort MAXcam 360c, Escort M2 and Cobra SC400. We also included numerous enhancements and improvements that we hoped would create a great experience with the app for you. Unfortunately, after the launch in September, we received reports of issues that have impacted some users’ ability to effectively use the app with their devices.
We want every single experience to be a great one, and we are listening to you and working hard to resolve these issues. The most recent app updates that were released on October 12 addressed many of the common issues for both iPhone and Android users.
Drive Smarter works as a companion app to several Escort and Cobra models and is available on iOS and Android platforms. Since many of our customers own multiple devices across both brands, we designed the app from the ground up to make it convenient for users to control and monitor more than one device. However, due to wireless connectivity issues between certain devices and phone models that were unfortunately compounded by an issue with our database and registration server, we were unable to deliver the great experience we were striving for and that you needed.
We are truly sorry and we are doing everything we can to make things right for you. In the next few weeks, you will notice a stepped-up effort to improve the stability and quality of the app, including:
- The addition of more content on our sites to keep you up-to-date on what new enhancements and features are coming
- A new page focused on communicating Known Issues, any workaround solutions, and dates for when the issues will be fixed
- A new page focused on Device Compatibility for the Drive Smarter app and other existing apps
- Updated FAQs to answer questions or to help you troubleshoot any issues
- Firmware updates sent via the app to help keep your device up-to-date
- Updates to both Android and iOS versions on a monthly basis (or more frequently) until all customer issues are resolved
- Heavily increased development, quality assurance, and customer care resourced efforts to ensure that all major issues are addressed in the next 8 weeks
Please visit this page to check for new updates, but in the spirit of transparency, we will also continue to notify Drive Smarter users whenever we have new information to share with you. Thank you.
October 13, 2021
With previous versions of the Drive Smarter app, several customers have reported experiencing usability issues. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and have been working diligently to address these issues.
Both iOS and Android versions of the Drive Smarter app contain several important improvements and bug fixes.
iOS version 2.10.1
- Overall improvements in application stability and the connection between your phone and your compatible devices
- Improvements to OTA (Over-The-Air) updates on select models that ensure that newer firmware versions are properly detected and applied
- New Detector Settings incorporated so that Escort MAXcam 360c users can now view all settings on the Device Settings page
- Added support for French, Spanish and German languages
Android version 2.10.5
- Overall improvements in application stability and the connection between your phoneyou’re your compatible devices. In particular, enhancements have been included to ensure a reliable reconnection with the device when powered on or when back within range.
- Improve OTA (Over-The-Air) updates on select models that ensure that newer firmware versions are properly detected and applied
- The Drive Smarter application will no longer run in the background if you exit the app completely
- Added support for French, Spanish and German languages
* Note: Detector Settings for MAXcam 360c users have been available in a prior release
We are confident that these latest updates will improve the usability experience for our users and appreciate your patience while we’ve worked on making the app better for you.
If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can hear your thoughts!
September 22, 2021
We recently launched a new version of the Drive Smarter® app that will soon become the unified technology platform that helps you drive smarter and safer, whether you’re a Cobra or Escort customer with a connected device or a standalone app user.
Part of the work to build out the new platform will be incorporating the functionality of our existing apps, Cobra iRadar and Escort Live, as well as ensuring that all compatible Cobra and Escort devices work well with Drive Smarter.
Our goal is to constantly improve your Drive Smarter app experience by adding new features. Below you’ll find some items we intend to tackle with our next few app updates.
- Live Alerts: Drive Smarter includes live alerts from our network of devices and community of drivers on the map screen. We will be making improvements to the positioning of the zone of shared alerts, while also increasing the size of the zone to better match the Escort Live experience. This will be in our next update in early October.
- MAXcam 360c Device Settings: At launch, we’ve included camera settings for the MAXcam 360c so you can customize your camera experience. Detector settings will be included in an update in early October, but you can still access your detector and camera settings via the device menu and rotary knob on the device.
- Gallery Timeline Thumbnails: The MAXcam 360c’s gallery timeline is accessible today, and we will be adding thumbnails to better identify clips in mid-October.
- Device Compatibility: At launch, Drive Smarter is compatible with the MAXcam 360c, M2 radar-mounted smart dash cam, and the Cobra SC series of smart dash cams. Additional Escort detector compatibility will be added in Fall 2021.
We are excited to continue improving the Drive Smarter platform and app experience with new and updated features to help you drive smarter and safer. We’ll continue to update this post for you with new information as it becomes available.
Is a Dash Cam Worth it?
With dash cams growing in popularity, it’s easy to see why people are investing in ways to drive smarter. The benefits drivers bystanders, and other road users have seen from dash cam use might just sway your thoughts on whether a dash cam is worth the financial investment.
Benefits of a Dash CamHere are a few of the benefits dash cams can offer:
- Capture First-hand Accident Evidence
- Parents Can Monitor First-time Drivers
- Submit Dash Cam Footage to Insurance Companies
- Share Dash Cam Videos with Affected Parties and Police
- Document Scenic Drives or Road Trips
- Record Surroundings of a Parked Vehicle
- Record Inside a Vehicle
1. Capture First-hand Accident EvidenceHaving a second set of eyes on the road through a dash cam recording can help prove fault in accidents and is a great way to make sure your insurance premiums don’t increase. Another great reason to have a dash cam is to be able to catch hit-and-run drivers. Dishonest or panicked drivers may decide to flee the scene once they’ve realized they’ve caused an accident, leaving you high and dry to cover the costs of any damage. With a dash cam, not only might you be able to see the incident unfold, but with a high-resolution camera, you should be able to see license plates to help police track down the responsible party.
2. Parents Can Monitor First-time DriversWatching your child drive away alone for the first time can be nerve-wracking, but with dash cam features like GPS tracking and G-sensors that can sense impacts and trigger alerts, you can help ensure the accountability and safety of first-time drivers. According to the CDC, the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens aged 16-19 than any other age group. In fact, data from the National Household Travel Survey indicated that the crash rate for 16-year-olds is 1.5 times as high per mile driven than for 18 or 19-year-old drivers. Dash cam recordings can serve as training opportunities so new drivers can be educated to drive safer and more responsibly. Parents can even provide another level of assurance by including a cabin view dash cam that will record what the driver and their passengers are doing inside the vehicle.
3. Submit Dash Cam Footage to Insurance CompaniesInsurance rates can change due to a number of factors, including age, commute distance, and driving record. Speeding tickets and accidents can cause your insurance rate to jump, sometimes to over triple what they were. In the event of an accident, having a dash cam that offers incident reports allows, you to streamline the claims process for a faster experience and to prove that you weren’t at fault. No one wants to be involved in an accident, but even the most cautious drivers can be impacted by the less careful drivers around them. Instead of relying on he-said, she-said in the case of an accident, providing video footage is an indisputable way to show how an incident occurred.
4. Share Dash Cam Footage with PoliceDash cams can capture vehicle accidents, but they can also provide proof for police in hit-and-run situations, or if you’ve captured footage of someone driving under the influence. Dash cams with a wide view can also capture pedestrians, cyclists, and others who may be behaving in a way that endangers drivers. If you happen to capture a vehicle driving recklessly, whether it be excessive speeding or running a cyclist off the road, the video footage can be submitted to the police. If you happen to catch a hit-and-run, waiting for the police to arrive and sharing evidence can help catch the culprit and benefit a victim who may otherwise be stuck paying for damages and hospital bills. Professional drivers in particular are encouraged to use dash cams as standard practice in truck fleets, public transport, or in ride-share vehicles. If a crime occurs in front of or within their vehicle, having a dash cam can clear up accusations and, in some cases, even assist in court.
5. Document Scenic Drives or a Road TripThe U.S. offers drivers a chance to see beautiful views without even leaving their vehicles. Iconic road trips on the Pacific Coast Highway, Blue Ridge Parkway, Route 66, and Overseas Highway, as well as drives through National Parks, can capture everything from stunning coastlines to gorgeous mountain views. By capturing those impressive views on a dash cam, you’re free to soak in your surroundings and enjoy the moment instead of worrying about capturing photos. And, because you can download, edit, and share footage, you’re able to create a wonderful keepsake of your journeys.
6. Recording Your Surroundings
Having front and rear-facing dash cams can capture nearly a 360-degree view of your surroundings. Not only can they record your drive, they’re also able to record while your car is parked, depending on their power source and settings. CBS News reported that 20% of accidents occur in parking lots, and a National Safety Council poll determined that the majority of drivers are distracted and multi-tasking while in a parking lot. People set their GPS location for directions, make a quick call, or even respond to an email, not paying full attention to driving or to their surroundings. Unfortunately, the lack of attention has even caused deaths!
Returning to your vehicle to see a large dent or scratch can be very upsetting and, without footage, there’s no way to prove what happened or who was to blame. If this is an area of concern, select a dash cam that has the capabilities to continue recording while a vehicle is parked, even if the engine is off. By using a hardwire connection to your vehicle fuse box and enabling parking mode or motion sensing, you’ll be able to capture video in the event that the dash cam senses an impact or if it senses motion in its field of view. This is a great way to ensure that your vehicle stays protected, especially since the footage can help when filing an insurance claim or police report. Dash cams can also catch vandalism or car break-ins and, in some cases, might even deter deviants from committing a crime entirely.
7. Recording Inside Your Vehicle
Although it may seem like an invasion of privacy to some, dash cam footage of the interior of the vehicle and its passengers is completely legal. Uber and Lyft employees are allowed cabin-view recording for their own protection and safety. Similarly, some school buses and public transport also have interior dash cams to document passenger journeys and promote safety for both the driver and others in the vehicle.
So, Is a Dash Cam Worth It?
The ability to save, download, and share dash cam video evidence has been used to identify criminals, prove driver innocence, and to protect passengers and drivers alike. We can’t describe every situation that might be captured by dash cam footage, but you can watch some of the most wild things ever captured on dash cams. Dash cams are not only a convenient device for providing you with peace of mind, they can help save you time and money in the event of an accident. You may just change your mind on whether you need one.
Cobra Electronics Debuts Faster Incident Reporting and Savings Opportunity With Connected Dash Cameras
The Cobra SC Series Helps Independent Truck Owners and Operators Stay Protected Behind the Wheel with Technology to Streamline Claims and Savings on Insurance Deductibles
CHICAGO – April 08, 2021 – Cobra Electronics, the leading designer and marketer of award-winning automotive, mobile and consumer electronics, today announced that the Cobra Smart Cam Series (“SC Series”) line of dash cameras will include built-in First Notice of Loss (FNOL) video incident reporting accepted by most major commercial insurance providers upon purchase. Historically a paid subscription through fleet programs or enterprises, FNOL technology streamlines the claims process for a faster, more accurate experience and is automatically available to all Cobra SC Series users free of charge.
With this technology, the Cobra SC Series family of products qualify as eligible devices for the longstanding Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) benefit that provides a $500 reduction in members’ deductibles in the event of a collision if a dash camera with forward-facing video is installed.1
The Cobra SC Series features four advanced dash camera models that record the road ahead, behind, as well as inside the vehicle. In the event of a collision, the Cobra SC Series offers some of the first dash cameras on the market to provide automated video incident summaries that format all claim information automatically for sharing, to help claims be processed accurately and efficiently. This process can be safely completed from the road through the associated Cobra SC Series mobile app. For independent owner-operators who oversee multiple trucks, an available web portal can help manage information on up to 10 vehicles.
For added protection, all models offer seamless connectivity to enable Emergency Mayday alerts when a severe impact is detected.
“With safety top of mind, we’re pleased to offer independent owner-operators an advanced, yet easy-to-use solution that helps drivers stay informed and connected behind the wheel,” said Gail Babitt, CEO of Cobra Electronics. “OOIDA’s program that entitles members to have a reduced deductible with presence of a FNOL dash camera recognizes the value dash cameras deliver to the safety and security of its members.
1The reduction in a physical damage deductible shall only be applied upon receipt of the video recording by Owner-Operator Services, Inc. and confirmation by them that the video is viewable and provides an assessment of the facts of the incident.
We at Cobra Electronics will continue to push the envelope to provide the very best innovations to independent owner-operators who are hitting the roads on a daily basis.”
The SC Series offers sharp 1080P or 1600P video resolution that the Cobra line is known for along with seamless connectivity enabled by dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Other safety and security features available include built-in GPS, Advanced Driver Assistance System for lane departure and forward collision warnings, hands-free Voice Control and Motion and Shock Sensing recording even when away from the vehicle.
These innovations include integration with the Drive Smarter platform and app. Drive Smarter provides cloud video management capabilities, including editing and sharing tools for drivers, both manually and automatically. Additionally, the platform provides users with the extended network of the Cobra community, connecting drivers to over 100 million driver, sensor and database alerts annually, like traffic and law enforcement cameras, speed limit data and road hazard and accident alerts.
Cobra SC Series dash cameras are available now with entry-level models starting at $129.95. They are available for purchase in Travel Centers of America and at Best Buy stores and online, as well as through Cobra.com/dashcams.
About Cobra Electronics
Cobra Electronics is a major brand of Cedar Electronics, a global supplier of connected automotive and consumer electronics solutions. Cobra provides award-winning products and solutions that include connected radar detectors, smart dash cams, CB and marine radios, power inverters, portable jump starters, and more. Cobra’s connected driver community and sensor-based network unlocks over 100 million vehicle-to-vehicle and shared alerts annually from speed traps to red light camera locations. Leveraging its 50-year history of producing high-quality, reliable, and dependable solutions, Cobra extends the Cedar Electronics mission to empower people to Drive Smarter and Safer. To learn more please visit www.cobra.com.
Cedar Electronics Partners with
HERE Technologies and BMW
to Make Drivers Smarter and Safer
If you’ve been looking to buy or lease a new BMW, you’ll want to check out a brand-new service that will make you a smarter and safer driver behind the wheel. Today, Cedar Electronics and HERE Technologies announced a partnership with BMW to empower drivers nationwide with location-based alerts that increase your awareness on the road.
The result of this collaboration is BMW Traffic Camera Information, an advanced driver alert service that combines location intelligence, radar and laser detection data, and traffic enforcement camera warnings to keep drivers informed of their surroundings. Cedar Electronics provides the sensor-based alerts through its established Cobra and ESCORT driver community applications.
With more Americans taking to the road this year, and traffic hazards and congestion increasing, sophisticated driver alert systems are more important than ever. The BMW Traffic Camera Information service is just one example of how Cedar Electronics is working with industry leaders like HERE to increase driver safety and accelerate the future of connected, intelligent cars.
A Partnership Powered by a Driving Community & HERE Safety Cameras
In this new partnership, the intelligence from Cobra and ESCORT drivers and devices is integrated with HERE Safety Cameras, an exclusive database of fixed-location traffic cameras. Part of the HERE Connected Services product line, Safety Cameras will alert BMW drivers when they are nearing red light cameras or speed cameras that detect traffic violations and automatically issue tickets.
Helping All Drivers Make Better Decisions Behind the Wheel
A real-time driver alert system gives drivers relevant and accurate alerts so they can make more informed decisions behind the wheel. Whether it’s live alerts generated from radar or laser detection, a shared alert from a user-generated community member, or a location-based alert from a database of known permanent and mobile traffic enforcement alerts, knowing what’s in your proximity allows you to adjust your driving behavior accordingly.
Even the safest drivers can be sometimes caught off guard when they realize they are driving above the speed limit or are dealing with a distraction, either inside or outside the car.
Drive Smarter with Actionable Alerts
As road travel and traffic accidents increase year over year, timely and accurate insights on the road are in high demand. Cedar Electronics is at the leading-edge of comprehensive driver alert systems, already connecting its massive community of Cobra iRadar and ESCORT Live users to actionable, real-time traffic, safety, and law enforcement alerts.
WHY EVERYONE NEEDS A DASH CAM
Protect Your Vehicle & Wallet From Numerous Threats
What Exactly is a Dash Cam?
When you think of dash cams you may think of the many videos shared to social media showing both funny and harrowing traffic incidents, natural disasters, and even capturing curious wildlife. Or you may think of gearheads with souped-up cars crammed full of the latest tech. But dash cams are far from just frivolous toys for techies and YouTubers. They are a powerful yet easy-to-use safety enhancement for all drivers, providing peace of mind, added protection in case of an accident, and much more.
Dash cams, or dashboard cameras, are exactly that: cameras mounted to your vehicle’s dashboard. Within these parameters, you’ll find a lot of variation between dash cams currently on the market. The most basic will continuously record video and audio from a single lens, like your typical handheld camera. Advanced dash cams come with major additional benefits, like additional video channel(s), night vision, voice control, WiFi connectivity, and even G-force sensors that detect impact.
So why do you need a dash cam, and which features should you look for to get the most bang for your buck?
3 Compelling Reasons to Install a Dash Cam ASAP
Conscientious drivers and people who do a minimal amount of driving each week often feel that dash cams are simply not for them. But dash cam owners have been spared the cost of repairs and worse because they were able to capture the truth of what happened during a parking lot fender bender, rush hour confrontation, or act of nature, such as a neighbor’s tree branch falling on your car.
Dash cams are your first line of defense against dishonest drivers, insurance fraud, and even law enforcement officers, who aren’t immune to mistakes. Here are the top 3 reasons everyone can benefit from a dash cam:
1. 90% of accidents are caused by human error.
You don’t need a dash cam because you might make a mistake (though, let’s be honest, we all do from time to time). You need one because you share the road with thousands of other drivers each year — drivers who may be distracted, reckless, and downright unscrupulous when it comes to taking responsibility for their mistakes and dealing with insurance.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, just before crashes occur,
- 36% of drivers cross intersections improperly
- 33% fail to stay in the correct lane or run off the road
- 12% stop in the road
- And 9% lose control of their vehicle.
Whether it’s due to distraction, intoxication, fatigue, road rage, or inexperience, the drivers around you are by far the greatest threat to your road safety (and insurance rates!)
2. A lot can happen when your vehicle is parked — or you’re not the one driving.
If your car is damaged while parked on the street or another driver is behind the wheel, you could be left without a clue as to what really happened. With the proper features, dash cams enable you to keep eyes on your car even when you’re not in it.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported that a motor vehicle is stolen every 42 seconds in the US. This doesn’t even account for the frequency of vandalism and smash-and-grab robberies (when thieves shatter a window to steal something inside). A dash cam equipped with motion detection and WiFi connectivity would capture the incident and let you access the footage from your computer or smartphone.
If you have a teen driver in your family, you already wish you could keep constant watch over them on the road. The CDC found that teen drivers are more likely to speed, tailgate, drive distracted, fail to use seatbelts, and make critical decision errors. With a dash cam in place, you can review your teen’s driving habits and increase their accountability. And the same goes for anyone who may borrow your car, regardless of age or experience.
3. Insurance fraud is a multi-billion dollar racket.
Automobile insurance fraud is rampant, fueled by organized criminal rings who stage crashes to claim payments for exaggerated vehicle damage and physical injury. This costs auto insurers nearly $30 billion a year, or 14 percent of all personal auto premiums.
If you’re involved in an accident with someone who is making false claims — saying you are at fault when you know you aren’t, or inflating injuries and medical bills — your dash cam footage may provide the proof you need to avoid a spike in your insurance premiums. It may even protect you from charges of negligence and worse.
Insurance fraud isn’t always premeditated. Whether they blew through a stop sign, sideswiped you while changing lanes, or hit your parked car, drivers at fault aren’t always willing to own up to their mistakes. They may speed away from the scene or give you fake insurance information. And without proof or solid witnesses, it’s your word against theirs. Unless you have a dash cam recording of the incident, that is.
Key Features to Look For in a Dash Cam
Dash cams have come a long way from their earliest iterations (think bulky pieces of equipment that recorded to VHS). With all our modern technological advancements and the wide range of options on the market today, don’t settle for a dash cam with less than these standard features:
Continuous Loop Recording
Your dash cam should automatically start recording when you start your vehicle, and never stop even when your memory card is full. It does this by overwriting, or looping over, older recordings after a number of hours.
Lock and Save Critical Footage
Your dash cam should automatically lock and save the footage surrounding an accident by using G-sensors to detect even slight impact. This means that important video will not be recorded over. And you should have the option to manually lock and save any recordings that you choose (even if it’s just a funny traffic mishap you happened to catch).
Your dash cam should be able to detect bumps, hard-braking, and impact to your vehicle when it’s on the road and in park. This not only lets you automatically lock and save the footage you need, but also saves the event details like speed, force of impact, and location to the cloud.
Combined with G-sensor detection, GPS uses satellite-based radionavigation to embed accurate time, date, and location with video footage.
If your dash cam isn’t WiFi enabled, you won’t be able to remotely access your video footage. Make sure your dash cam saves footage to the cloud so you can get the valuable proof you need when your car is parked, borrowed, or stolen.
Advanced Dash Cam Features Provide Ultimate Protection
Beyond the must-have features outlined above, there are additional functionalities that can seriously enhance your safety
— and make your dash cam extremely easy to use.
Real-Time Driver AlertsLook for a dash cam that provides alerts to hazardous road conditions, driver speed, red light cameras, and more in real time. Cobra’s SC series of smart dash cams will even tell you exactly how close you are to the threat. The Cobra SC 201, SC 200 and SC 200D models are equipped with a display where, in addition to audible alerts, intuitive visual alerts are shown as well.
Multiple Voice Commands
Voice commands allow you to keep your eyes where they belong: on the road. Control your dash cam with simple phrases, such as “Lock Video” to manually lock and save video, “Rear Video On” to display your rear view camera footage on screen, or “Take Photo” to instantly capture a still image without taking your hands off the steering. Check out the Cobra SC 200 and 200D dash cam for easy voice control.
In the event of impact and collision, some dash cams like the Cobra SC series dash cameras will notify an emergency contact in addition to automatically saving and uploading video to the cloud. G-sensor detection can even trigger a “Mayday” notification if the driver becomes unresponsive.
Advanced Driver Assistance
An advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) uses your camera, GPS and inertial sensors to monitor your surroundings and alert you to speeding, lane departures, forward collisions, and obstacles ahead. Cobra’s SC smart dash cams come ADAS equipped so you can prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
Drive Smarter With the Latest in Dash Cam Technology
Dash cams are a modern essential that can help you defend against reckless and fraudulent drivers, keep insurance premiums low, and even prevent accidents and injuries. If someone hits your parked car, sideswipes you while changing lanes, or if you’re pulled over for a violation you didn’t commit, you have all the proof you need to expedite a claim and clear your driving record.
Learn more and find the best dash cam for you at www.cobra.com/dashcams.
Summer Road Travel
Trends & Concerns
Americans are noticing a spike in both traffic and speeding on the roads, according to a national survey of drivers. While roads seemed to clear immediately after the COVID-19 outbreak, they’re filling up again as people embark on summer vacations and seek outdoor recreation. And with most Americans going out of their way to avoid crowded airports, train stations, and bus terminals, it looks like road traffic will only continue to surge.
The Cedar Electronics Smart Driving Index asked drivers about their plans for road travel and their top safety concerns when driving this summer.
Before taking your next road trip — or returning to your commute — see what you can expect to encounter on the streets and highways,
and how to maximize your road safety.
If you’re among the 49% of Americans not using any car tech to increase your road safety, there’s good news. Thanks to advancements in dash cams, crowdsourced road awareness apps, and sensor-based driver alert systems, smarter, safer driving is easier than ever to attain.
Before you reach for the car keys this summer, arm yourself with driver safety technology that can alert you to traffic, road hazards, speeding drivers, law enforcement, and more. Visit Cobra.com to learn more about today’s most powerful dash cams, and find sophisticated driver alert systems at EscortRadar.com.
Americans’ Top Concerns for Summer Car Travel
(And How to Maximize Safety on the Road)
Americans are driving less since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The need to drive plummeted in the spring with schools, gyms, and restaurants under lockdown, and nearly one third of the population working from home. But now that summer is in full swing and states have eased into reopening, drivers are hitting the roads for travel and recreation.
A national survey of drivers found that the majority of Americans have noticed a surge in traffic in recent weeks. City and suburban dwellers are replacing international travel and theme park visits with interstate road trips and socially-distanced entertainment. Indeed, taking the highways and scenic routes to avoid crowded airports, bus stations, and train stations is a wise decision during the pandemic. But before you reach for the car keys, take a look at what you can expect to encounter on the roads — and how to drive safer and smarter while navigating them.
Drivers’ Top Pandemic Road Safety ConcernsSurprisingly, nearly half (46%) of Gen Z respondents cite road safety concerns, more than any other generation. Defying stereotypes of reckless youth, Gen Z drivers are taking precautions to not only avoid the virus, but also avoid accidents and incidents caused by driver distraction, road rage, traffic, and more. Of course, millennials, Gen X, and boomers, also reported concerns about road safety this summer. Overall, drivers’ top fears and frustrations include:
- Other drivers being distracted (48%)
- Reckless driving and/or road rage (40%)
- Unexpected incidents (29%)
- Traffic & congestion (26%)
Why We’re All Getting Behind the Wheel, From Gen Z to BoomersDespite safety risks, Americans are still taking to the open road for their summer escapes. Even though they reported more concerns, Gen Z is especially eager to travel by car, with 42% planning road trips in the next three months, 10% more than the average American. Millennials don’t trail far behind (36%). For both groups, the majority (60%) of those taking road trips specifically opted to drive over other modes of transportation they would normally take, including planes, trains, and buses. The top motivation for driving varies by generation. Nearly two thirds (61%) of Gen Z drivers surveyed are excited by the ability to cover more ground and see more sights by car. Millennials report that they truly enjoy driving more than flying or trains. Gen X is largely driven (44%) by a desire for safety amidst the pandemic. And 67% of boomers like that driving puts them in control of their own pace and schedule while traveling. Regardless of age, drivers share several common motivations for traveling more by car. Like boomers, 61% of Gen Z drivers and 55% of all drivers also relish the freedom and autonomy of car travel. And beyond being able to set your own timetable and itinerary, 50% of those surveyed said driving is simply more convenient. The desire for safety also crosses generations, with 42% aiming to social distance and avoid typically crowded travel hubs where they have a higher likelihood of contracting or spreading the virus.
Car Tech Empowers Drivers to Make Better DecisionsDespite higher rates of car travel and heightened concerns on the road, one in two Americans (49%) don’t use any car tech to increase safety. It’s not because they don’t see the value in safe driving technology: 48% agree that a crowd-sourced road awareness app would help them stay informed and prepared while driving. And the majority are interested in receiving information about traffic, police activity, and emergency notifications about accidents and hazards while driving. Driver safety and awareness technology has advanced well beyond the glitchy GPS systems and old school radar detectors of the past. Americans hitting the road this summer can benefit from advanced dash cams, sensor-based driver alert systems, and crowdsourced road awareness apps that are easily available today. To soothe anxiety behind the wheel and encourage smarter, safer driving, Cedar Electronics CEO Gail Babitt offers the following tips:
Use a dash cam.Record all interactions with your vehicle and be prepared for the unexpected with crystal-clear video evidence of any incidents. Devices in the new Cobra Smart Cam Series, available at retail this August, offer sharp video capture that’s easily shareable, along with quick, reliable connectivity capabilities to connected cars and mobile hotspots that enable automatic emergency Mayday alerts, remote surveillance and notifications. Now available at a variety of price points, today’s dash cams help drivers keep themselves and their vehicles safe wherever, whenever.
Install sensor-based driver alert solutions.Combine machine-generated alerts with crowdsourced alerts for information you can trust to help you drive safer. The survey found that most drivers (60%) would be interested in receiving emergency notifications about road events and conditions while driving. Used alongside navigation apps like Waze, today’s connected driver alert systems like the ESCORT MAX 3 can verify and validate road alerts for the ultimate peace of mind.
Turn to a crowdsourced road awareness app.The free Cedar road awareness apps provide access to over 100 million vehicle-to-vehicle alerts annually from speed traps to red light cameras to help drivers stay informed on the roads. Survey respondents consider information about traffic to be most helpful, followed by accidents and road hazards. In addition, Gen Zers are 3X more likely than Baby Boomers to consider notifications about police activity helpful.
Drive Smarter for Safe Summer TravelBefore you take to the roads this summer, prepare yourself to safely navigate the traffic, hazards, and speeding fellow drivers you’re sure to encounter. Driver awareness technology can empower you to make smart decisions that lead to a safer driving experience, so you won’t have to put the brakes on summer travel plans. Visit Cobra.com to learn more about today’s most powerful dash cams, and find sophisticated driver alert systems at EscortRadar.com.
Road Travel Resurgence:
More Americans Going by Car with a Sense of Urgency, Sparking Driver Safety Concerns
Cedar Electronics, experts in driver awareness products and solutions, shares tips for smarter, safer driving this summer
CHICAGO – August 3rd, 2020 – During these unprecedented times, more Americans are reaching for the car keys as summer travel heats up. Cedar Electronics, home of leading automotive and consumer electronics brands Cobra and ESCORT, released today the results of a national survey to track Americans’ plans to hit the roads and uncover new concerns behind the wheel. In recent weeks, 77% of respondents report noticing more drivers on the roads with them, particularly in the South. Nearly a third (32%) have noticed an increase in speeding. Notably, 1 in 3 drivers are also more concerned about their safety on the roads than they were before COVID, especially younger drivers, with 46% of Gen Z drivers expressing concern.
“Our recent survey found that the majority of Americans, whether hailing from the city or the suburbs, are seeing more drivers on the road in recent weeks as areas of the country reopen and summer plans adjust to new developments,” said Gail Babitt, CEO of Cedar Electronics. “Before hitting the roads, we encourage all drivers to consider the latest driver awareness technology available to help inform decisions and stay safe behind the wheel, whether it’s from a modern driver alert system that leverages sensor-based and crowdsourced information on road conditions, speed enforcement and police activity or from a smart dash camera that ensures you’re prepared for the unexpected.”
Despite growing concern, Gen Z is most ready to get behind the wheel, with 42% planning to travel more by car in the next three months – a full 10% more than the average American. Those surveyed are turning to car travel more for the following reasons:
|Reason to travel by car||Respondents|
Allows me to be in control of my own schedule and pace
It’s more convenient
Allows for social distancing
Of those planning to take road trips this summer, the majority of Gen Z and Millennial drivers said they are opting to drive over other modes of transportation.
Drivers Share Safety ConcernsOf the top concerns behind the wheel, many say it’s other drivers being distracted (48%), followed by reckless driving/road rage (40%), unexpected incidents (29%) and traffic & congestion (26%). However, despite this uneasiness, nearly half of Americans (49%) don’t use any car tech to help them stay informed while driving. And yet, the same number (48%) agree that a crowd-sourced road awareness app would be helpful for safer driving. “The Cedar road awareness apps experienced a significant 218% increase in driver alerts from April to June 2020 and a 69% year-over-year increase – a clear sign that more drivers are taking to the roads and staying informed by reporting activity from road hazards to speed traps,” said Babitt. “We’ve also seen the number of alerts for New York City drivers nearly double from pre-COVID to today.”
Cedar Provides Tips & Tools to Help Increase Driver Awareness
To encourage smarter, safer driving as more Americans get behind the wheel, Babitt shares the following tips from Cedar Electronics: