Why You Need A Radar Detector

Nothing is more fun than a spirited drive in the countryside, having moved to Texas a few years ago to enjoy the country, I spend a lot of time on beautiful winding backroads. While taking in the beautiful countryside it is easy to miss that the speed limit has changed from 75 mph to 45 mph in just a few hundred yards as you come upon a small town, inevitably there is an officer waiting to write you a speeding ticket. Suddenly your great backroad drive has become an expensive ticket, traffic school, and the possibility of increased insurance rates for years to come. That is why having a   radar/laser detector is so important and why I have been testing out the new Cobra RAD 480i this week. 

Even if you aren't a lead foot, it is easy to be going 5-15 mph over the speed limit and if you have ever gotten a ticket for 10 mph over the limit you know it can end up costing you hundreds of dollars. The last ticket that I picked up in a small Texas town ended up costing me $125, and an additional $100 for a full day of terrible comedy traffic school. The Cobra RAD 480i is priced at just $149.95, meaning even if it saves you from just one ticket, you will be money ahead.

That makes the RAD 480i a game-changer is the Cobra smartphone app that gives you added protection by sharing information between other local users and alerting you to red-light and speed camera locations leading Mashable to call it "Waze on steroids." Installing the RAD 480i is simple, using either supplied suction cup mount or velcro mounting tape, simply plug it into your car's power port and you are up and running. I took a quick drive to test out the RAD 480i it was just a matter of minutes before I got my first alert from State Trooper tucked into the trees on the side of the highway, about 10 minutes later down a country road, it picked up a County Sheriff along the side of the road at the crest of a hill. Since I installed it roughly a week ago I am discovering there are a lot more police on the road than I ever noticed, and a lot of them have radar or lasers pointed at traffic.
I know a lot of people have questions about the legality of radar/laser detectors, in fact, when I told a friend of mine I would be testing a new radar detector he said: "I wish those were legal here in California." Turns out they are legal in California and nearly everywhere else, but the confusion generally comes from people confusing radar detectors and radar jammers which are illegal at a federal level in all 50 states. Now you should be sure to confirm the laws in the jurisdiction you live in or plan to drive in, but broadly radar detectors are legal in every state with the exception of Virginia and the District of Columbia. California, Minnesota, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey allow radar detectors, however, they cannot be mounted to the windshield. Radar detectors are illegal to use in commercial vehicles in all fifty states under Department of Transportation regulations. IF you are feeling extra adventurous and plan on visiting Canada or Mexico on a road trip the laws vary depending on the state or province. In Canada, radar detectors are legal only in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, while most of Mexico allows them, however, in Mexico City they are illegal.  

If you are looking for a radar detector, the RAD 480i is a great value and there isn't a complicated installation process, simply mount it to the dash or windshield and plug it in. When paired with the app it is an inexpensive way to keep aware of what coming up ahead while you are enjoying taking the long way. 

You can learn more or order the RAD 480i HERE.

Cobra did provide me the RAD 480i device to test at no charge, however, all opinions are my own.