Drivers Placing Too Much Faith in Driver Assistant Technology

From Robert E. Whitley, Raleigh personal injury attorney of the Whitley Law Firm.

There are many convenient features in vehicles these days. Many of them are meant to make the vehicle safer for the drivers and passengers in the vehicle. A new study has found though, that those safety features may actually be a danger to drivers that rely on them too heavily. In many cases, drivers do so because they are simply overestimating the capabilities of those features.

One of the safety features now included as standard on many vehicles is blind spot monitoring. This technology is meant to spot vehicles, pedestrians, and other vehicles that are in the driver’s blind spot. If something is in the blind spot, an alarm sounds that lets the driver know to stop. However, while the technology is advanced, it cannot detect everything.

For example, blind spot monitoring is unlikely to detect vehicles that are passing through the blind spot at high speeds. Smaller objects, such as pedestrians and cyclists, may also not be detected. A study recently conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 80 percent of drivers that used these systems did not realize those limitations.

Highlighting the restrictions these safety features have does not necessarily mean they are useless. They can greatly reduce the chance of accidents on our roads. Drivers though, need to understand what they can and cannot do so they can be used most effectively.

Perhaps it would help drivers understand if they knew that accidents had increased across the country at around the same time these safety features became regularly used by drivers. Five percent more accidents occurred in 2016 than 2015, according to the AAA.

Driver assistance technology is going to become even more popular in the coming years. As it does, it is important for drivers to understand they must still drive with the same caution they would without the systems. They are not meant to replace proper judgement, or logical, human decisions. While this technology can provide back up to someone behind the wheel, it is the human driver that is still literally in the driver’s seat.

Robert E. Whitley is a personal injury attorney with experience representing clients across the state of North Carolina. Whitley Law Firm can be found on Facebook and Youtube.

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