Driver safety technologies misunderstood

Drivers on California roads are likely to overestimate the capabilities of their vehicles' safety features, according to research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The AAA study found that drivers think blind spot monitoring and other safety technologies are more advanced than they are. It may indicate that more driver education is necessary before American drivers are ready to adopt self-driving and other motor vehicle technology.

Overestimating the abilities of vehicle safety technologies can lead to accidents. With regard to blind spot monitoring, the AAA study found that almost 80 percent of drivers didn't understand the ways in which the system was limited. They thought it had a greater capacity to detect pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles in the blind spot than it actually had. Because they relied too heavily on blind spot monitoring, roughly 25 percent of the drivers studied didn't check their blind spots when they were changing lanes.

AAA also found problems with the way drivers perceived automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control systems. Many of the drivers confused the abilities of automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning systems. The former will activate the brakes for the driver while the latter only warns the driver.

Adaptive cruise control accelerates and decelerates the vehicle automatically, but the driver must be ready to take control of the vehicle at any time. Approximately 29 percent of drivers who used the system were too comfortable doing other things while driving, which can cause motor vehicle crashes. People who are injured in car accidents might be compensated for damages like pain and suffering, medical expenses or lost wages. A lawyer with experience in personal injury law may be able to help by gathering evidence to build a case for trial or by negotiating a settlement with liable parties and their insurers.

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