New cars are becoming increasingly safer with the advent of advanced technology. New safety features, known as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), are coming standard on many new cars. They could potentially save lives when they are needed the most. Recent research, however, shows that relying solely on ADAS technology to replace the task of driving can put lives in danger.
What do ADAS systems do?
According to Consumer Reports, ADAS technology may help prevent serious crashes by:
- Using sensors, lasers, and cameras to detect collision risks, then emit sounds to alert drivers to take evasive actions
- Automatically apply the brakes when a collision risk is detected
- Helping to control steering when a driver either veers off the road or over the centerline
Why is reliance on ADAS dangerous?
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study on the risks of relying on ADAS technology. Researchers from AAA and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute used video footage to monitor two groups of drivers over the course of four weeks.
The first group consisted of drivers who owned cars that come standard with ADAS technology. This tech included adaptive cruise control and lane center keep. This group had adequate experience with ADAS technology and was found to be more confident in its functionality. This group was, therefore, found to be more likely to take their attention off the task of driving to either use cellphones or tune their radios.
The second group involved drivers who didn't own cars equipped with ADAS technology but were allowed to borrow them throughout the study. Since this group was far less experienced with ADAS, participants were less likely to rely on them. This group was also found to be more attentive behind the wheel.
“Advanced driver assistance technologies have a lot to offer in terms of comfort and safety, but they should never replace an attentive and engaged driver,” said Dr. William Van Tassel, AAA manager of driver training programs. “Remember, technology fails us daily while at work and at home. So, don’t get caught driving distracted when being focused on the road can save your life.”
How should drivers use ADAS responsibly?
In order to avoid a crash when driving a car equipped with ADAS, AAA urges drivers to ACE their next car rental or purchase. Here's how:
- Always be active and engaged behind the wheel when using ADAS
- Commit to learning which features come with your car and how they operate
- Expect limitations with ADAS features
ADAS technology is only designed to help. There is no substitute for attentive and responsible driving. If an ADAS feature suddenly fails to do what it was designed to do, and the driver isn't prepared to react, someone could get seriously hurt or killed.
If you were injured in a crash with a distracted driver who may have been using ADAS technology, it's important that you take legal action. A car accident attorney at Oklahoma law firm Lawter & Associates Attorneys at Law PLLC can help you explore your legal options and maximize your compensation.
Our law offices are located in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. To schedule your free case evaluation, contact us online.