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Speed Traps Driving You Nuts? Buy the Latest in Radar Detectors!

Speeding tickets are on the rise as local police departments look to boost their revenue and keep the most dangerous drivers off the road. 112,000 people receive a speeding ticket per day in the US, and the average ticket goes for about $152.

Responsible drivers often take advantage of available technology to help them avoid costly tickets. Our review ranks four of the best radar detectors on the market today.

Easiest to Use

The Escort Solo S4 leads the pack in ease of use. The cordless unit requires no wired installation and can easily be moved from car to car. It runs on 2 AA batteries, and the unit has a battery warning system when it runs low.

It can detect the full range of radar and laser frequencies currently in use by US law enforcement, as well as SWS (Safety Warning System) signals. The unit’s easy-to-read display specifies the type of alert received. The unit is programmable to suit the driver’s needs, or it can be used directly out of the box.

Most Powerful

The Valentine One is reputed by users to have a laser range of up to five miles. Uniquely, the unit has two radar detectors facing both forward and to the rear. One disadvantage to this unit is the inability to account for false alarms, which are common when driving near some newer cars which use radar assisted safety features.

The unit has fewer bells and whistles than some of its competitors, but the features it does have work very well. The unit can be attached to a smartphone with an optional cord, enabling the user to tweak settings that are not possible on the unit itself.

Best Value

The Cobra ESD7570 comes in at a fraction of the cost of other detectors in this review. The unit provides a no-frills alternative to more complex detectors while retaining important features. The unit protects against all common radar and laser bands. The detector also has 360-degree laser detection capabilities.

The light-up display specifies which type of laser or radar is detected, and also has a signal strength indicator. Users report that the unit works well, but that the City mode does not give enough warning of laser or radar signals received. The unit can be mounted on the dashboard with Velcro, or on the windshield with a suction cup mount.

Best Overall

The Escort Max 360 is the best radar detector in our roundup. It is a powerful detector and covers all commonly used radar bands and laser frequencies. Similar to the Valentine V1, this detector also has forward and rear radar detectors.

The unit is enhanced by GPS and Bluetooth capability. The GPS AutoLearn system enables the detector to avoid irritating false alarms and interference from the outside. The AutoLearn system is also preloaded with a database of speed cameras and red light detection cameras.

The GPS feature works with the Escort Live app, which features a user-built database of common speed traps in any local area. The Escort Max 360 has directional arrows which point to the signal received. Users report that these arrows can be a bit slow to respond but that they work very well.

Save Yourself a Ticket

While it may seem like an expensive purchase, an investment in a radar detector may pay for itself by helping you avoid expensive traffic tickets. Lastly, it is important to make sure your state allows radar detectors before using one of these units. All states except Virginia and Washington, DC allow standard radar and laser detectors.