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Photo of Attorneys David F. Fessler and Timothy E. Schneider and Joseph F. Grimme
Photo of attorneys David F. Fessler, Joseph F. Grimme and Timothy E. Schneider

AAA study: vehicle safety features lead to distraction

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2020 | Firm News

Drivers in Kentucky may find themselves relying too much on their car safety features. This is not uncommon; in fact, a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that two features, in particular, are leading drivers to have unrealistic expectations for them: adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

Researchers recorded driver behaviors in a wide range of vehicles, ranging from the Tesla Model S to the Acura MDX, Ford Fusion, Jeep Cherokee and Honda Accord, while researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute analyzed the camera footage. They found that drivers who had the two above-mentioned features engaged were twice as likely to drive distracted as those without the features.

Interestingly enough, those not familiar with the safety technology wound up being safer on the road because they were not so prone to distraction. The study concluded by urging automakers to better educate car buyers on the limitations of the features, which only assist rather than replace drivers.

Adaptive cruise control can accelerate and decelerate automatically for drivers so as to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Lane-keeping assist simply tugs at the steering wheel when it senses the car drifting from its lane. Both features still require drivers to be alert and keep their hands on the steering wheel.

It’s ironic that safety tech can contribute to crashes, but this can become an important piece of evidence for those who incur auto accident injuries and want to file a claim against the guilty party. They may have a lawyer evaluate the case under Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence rule and then take it on if the grounds for the case are strong. The lawyer might, for example, handle negotiations for a settlement and take the case to court if these negotiations fail.