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How To Use Your Radar Detector

A radar detector is a great tool, but it could hurt you more than help if you don't know how to use it properly. This post will attempt to explain how you can get the most benefit from your radar detector. It will teach you what you can expect from your radar detector, and what you cannot.


What Radar Detectors Do

Many people buy a radar detector and simply assume that they now have a license to speed. A few tickets later, these same people will discard the detector as "worthless". It is important to know what a radar detector is, and in what situations you can trust it, and when you must be cautious.

A radar detector will alert you when it senses certain frequencies of signals. The frequencies that they look for are frequencies that are commonly used by radar guns (the devices used by police to capture the speed of vehicles). These products do not detect police officers or police cars. They only detect the signals that are emitted by devices that police officers sometimes use.


When To Trust Your Radar Detector

The perfect situation for a radar detector is when you are driving in traffic, with other cars in front of and behind you. Fortunately, this is a very common scenario and is almost always the case when you are driving on an interstate or a highway during daylight hours. In this scenario, a police officer who is looking for speeders would set off your radar detector when his radar gun captured the speed of a driver in front of or behind you. This would usually give you plenty of time to slow down.


When To Be More Cautious

If you are driving in an area where there isn't much traffic, or if you are the only vehicle within sight, you should exercise more caution. In this scenario, a radar detector is not as valuable. A police officer using an instant-on radar gun could get your speed and your radar detector would have little time to warn you. When exceeding the speed limit in lite traffic, you should always keep an eye out for law enforcement officers and slow down around curves or hills. You also shouldn't speed excessively -- when you spot a police officer you will need to get your speed in check quickly.


The Laser Threat

While police radar is by far the biggest threat, laser usage by police is growing rapidly. Laser works differently than police radar, and laser detection is a weak point for radar detectors. Police laser is not used in all areas, so it is important that you find out if laser is used where you commonly drive. If laser is a threat in your area, you should arm yourself with a laser defense product, such as a laser jammer or Laser Veil, in addition to your radar detector.


Be Smart!

If you are expecting to plug in your radar detector and automatically be immune to tickets, then you are in for trouble. However, if you take the time to learn what your radar detector is actually doing, and combine that with smart, situational driving, you will be successful at avoiding speeding tickets.

9 Comments

Well stated, Danny.

With the recent developments of "low-cost" and easy-to-use police laser guns (such as the Pro Lite+) - with more to follow from other gun manufacturers - its safe to say that laser usage will likely continue to grow in popularity at an increasingly "alarming" rate! (grin) which, is a blessing in disguise - because with the laser countermeasures we can offset the threat...which, of course, can't be done with RADAR.

I have used 2 laser jammers for some years & it is quite 'fun' to see the look on a cop's face as you continue driving past him, because his equipment didn't detect my speed.
I also have a radar detector & have been 'saved' literaly hundereds of times over the years. Even though I have been caught a few times. The main problem I have in Australia is that police (mostly) use car mounted 'mobile' radar in the country, and we have PLENTY OF THAT! Whilst not speeding over a crest or around a bend is good advice & protection against a ticket, I would LOVE to have a device that is a combined detector & jammer all in one unit. With the technology available today, someone somewhere must be able to make a device that will 'jamb' an in-car police radar. I would certainly love to have one.

it IS possible to jam radar-- however, unlike jamming laser, jamming radar means you are broadcasting on radio frequencies and that's governed by the FCC in the US and is illegal.

i just got a radar detector from a buddie with no in scructions a cobra 10 band 360 laser how do i use it?

A detector is not a ticket to do 90mph in a 55mph and get away with it. (If anyone finds such a gadget, please let me know...) It's to save your butt when you're doing 76 mph in a 65 and Mr Blue Lights hasn't met his quota for the day. And please don't tell me they don't have quotas...

i just saw one article on how to buy a perfect radar detectors. Understand that radar used by law-enforcement officers works by shining microwave searchlights down the road. When your car comes into range, the beam bounces off of it. The radar antenna calculates your speed from the reflections it receives.Decide where you'll mount the radar detector to the windshield, the dash or the visor, for $50 to $100--or have it custom installed for upwards of $1,000. Where the unit is mounted significantly affects signal detection--the higher the better. Consider, too, whether you'll use it in one particular vehicle or in multiple vehicles (in which case you'll need a mount that's easy to remove).Shop for a radar detector that's most appropriate for your driving habits. The greater the detector's sensitivity, the more effective it'll be. An experienced salesperson can help you determine the best detector and placement for you.Look for a unit that detects a wide range of frequencies, or bands, including laser (sometimes called Lidar). Police radar guns use a variety of frequencies to clock speeders. If you want to be stealthy, look for VG-2 alert, which protects your vehicle from VG-2 radar detection and makes your detector undetectable. Check with a salesperson for the frequency in your area.

I have had a passport 8500 over 10 years. Beat hundreds of speedtrap. While traveling to work in the dark i got blasted with ka band in the tailgate. I jumped on the brakes said he had me at 40. First thing i admitted to 38 while he was using a minature tape recorder. Lesson when the sun goes down slow down. He wouldnt have got me in daylight i would have observed the cop.

The higher the better is NOT good advice! They aim for the headlights/front bumper when in front of you, therefore it should be mounted closer to the dashboard.

If you are planning to have a radar detector, than you must point out your usage and for what purpose you want it than as per the requirement select the best radar detector.

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