Driving around Florida can be a lot safer with vehicle safety features like lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. However, a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that these two features, in particular, can backfire by causing driver distraction. Researchers looked at the features in a wide range of vehicles, including the Tesla Model S, Acura MDX and Ford Fusion, in order to arrive at their conclusion.
Adaptive cruise control is a feature that automatically accelerates and decelerates for drivers so as to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Lane-keeping assist is a feature that simply tugs at the steering wheel when it senses that the vehicle is about to drift out of its lane. Both systems require drivers to stay alert and keep hold of the steering wheel.
The problem is that many drivers overestimate the features’ abilities and think that their car becomes self-driving when these are engaged. There is a lack of awareness that the most advanced cars only come with partially, not fully, automated systems. The two features combined doubled the risk for distracted driving.
Strangely enough, those who were less familiar with the features were less likely to drive distracted. Researchers ended by calling on automakers to educate their customers on the limitations of the available tech.
When distracted driving is behind car accidents, it can make the filing of a claim hard. This is because distracted driving is hard to prove; those who engage in it can easily lie about it. Some forms of distraction, such as phone use, might be relatively easy to prove. Whatever the nature of their case, crash victims may want a lawyer to look over it in light of this state’s pure comparative negligence rule. They might have their lawyer handle all negotiations, too.