According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, most drivers have too much confidence in advanced vehicle safety features. Researchers found that many in New York and throughout the country don’t understand exactly what these features can do. For instance, 25 percent of study participants didn’t look before changing lanes because they had blind spot monitoring features on their vehicles. Roughly 40 percent of drivers were confused as to the difference between what the forward-collision and the emergency braking systems did.
The forward-collision warning system merely tells drivers when an accident may be imminent. However, the emergency braking system will actually stop the car in certain situations. Regardless of how many advanced features a vehicle has, they are not meant to replace the capabilities of a human driver. Those who drive vehicles with emergency braking or adaptive cruise control still need to pay attention to the road.
Of those who took part in the AAA study, nearly 29 percent said that they engaged in other activities while the adaptive cruise control feature was activated. Researchers say that automakers should do a better job of educating drivers as to how these tools work. Furthermore, they should not be marketed in a way that could give drivers the wrong impression as to how they help make cars safer.
A driver who relies too much on their vehicle’s safety features could be deemed negligent in causing a car crash. This could be true if the driver fails to check a blind spot before changing lanes or fails to brake when another vehicle slows down. Someone who is hurt in a car crash may seek to obtain compensation for medical bills or lost wages if the at-fault driver was negligent.