Parking is the Achilles’ heel for many drivers, but are parking sensors a substitute for your own good judgement?
There are three types of sensor: ultrasonic, electromagnetic and rear facing cameras. Ultrasonic sensors use sound waves to detect vehicles or objects around your car. However, these can miss smaller objects such as posts or bollards so if you don’t look behind you and check your mirrors you can still end up damaging your car.
Electromagnetic parking sensors create an electromagnetic field around the car which detects any hazards that enters this field. Although they have a wider field of detection, they will only register objects once your car is moving.
Rear facing parking cameras usually switch on automatically when you put the car in reverse. However, their view can be limited at night, in low visibility conditions and cameras can get dirty which further limits the picture.
Fortunately, the expense of fitting one of these systems to help you park better is usually offset by a reduction in your insurance with premiums reduced by around 13 per cent.
While these aids undoubtedly make parking easier and safer, it’s important they are seen as aids to, not replacements for, your own judgement. You should still use your mirrors and your experience to make the final call.