Car Rental Safety Driving: Driver Monitoring

Driver monitoring systems monitor your driving performance and alert you if it detects a lack of attention or drowsiness. Some systems use a forward-facing camera installed between the windscreen and the rear view mirror to monitor the car’s position on the road in relation to the road markings.

When the system detects a large variability in lane position, the system lights a visual display on the dashboard (usually a coffee cup symbol and a short message that encourages you to take a break) and sounds a warning signal.

Other systems monitor things like your steering, speed, acceleration, use of turn signals, and pedals to determine your driving patterns during the first few minutes of every trip. When it detects a change in driver operating behaviour, the driver is alerted with audio and visual indicators.

Still other systems feature a camera that monitors driver attention, driver vision or head pose. If the system detects an emerging situation (obstacle or lane departure), and determines that your attention is away from the road for too long or your eyes are closed for longer than a blink, it will provide audio and visual warnings. A haptic alert (brake pulse) is also used if the driver does not respond to the audio and visual alerts.


Systems vary by manufacturer. Some systems are only active above certain speeds.

Things to keep in mind

  • Should not be used as an alarm clock. Do not drive when drowsy. Take a break.
  • The system is not a substitute for attentive driving.
  • Drivers are encouraged to read the owner’s manual to become familiar with the system and the conditions when system operation is different or is not guaranteed.



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