Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Are New Car Safety Systems Effective – or Distracting?
Distracted driving continues to be a prime cause of serious car accidents today, with some surprising contributing factors.
Personal injury lawyers are finding more instances where on-board technology that is meant to make driving safer is actually having the opposite effect.
It leaves even the accident attorneys representing these cases wondering whether those expensive optional features are worth the money spent or should be avoided at all costs!
Distracted Driving Still An Issue
Every year, distracted driving injures or kills thousands of people in auto accidents.
As car crash lawyers well know, distraction includes anything that takes a driver’s attention away from his or her driving and the road ahead which increases the possibility of a collision.
In 2017 alone, nearly 10% of all traffic fatalities accounting for 3,166 people were killed and many more were injured in car accidents because of distracted driving.1
Auto Safety Systems Not Helping
In the recent past, the main causes of distraction while driving were things like texting while driving or adjusting sound systems.
Now these distractions have increased with the addition of another surprising factor of on-board safety technology.
Though actually designed to improve overall driving safety, many of the latest new car safe driving features are having just the opposite effect.
This is an interesting phenomena that insurance companies, safety organizations, and personal injury lawyers alike are closely observing as they increase their efforts to improve driving safety.
Why is it happening?
Multiple studies done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggest it’s due to distraction.2
Safe Car Technology May Lead to Greater Distraction
Newer safe driving features and other emerging technology do work for their intended purposes and can indeed prevent a car accident; however, there is a serious downside to all these features.
The distractions they cause when drivers use them are working against the added safety this technology can actually bring.
When used individually, features like lane departure assist, GPS, adaptive cruise control, and braking assist all work well to prevent accidents.
When used while driving in conjunction with other distractions like sound systems, cell phones, food in the car, and more, there is minimal if any reduction in the number of accidents being reported.
Driver age is another prime factor adding to the problem with higher numbers of older drivers being more distracted by newer technology and how to use it correctly.
Safe Car Tech Works Well With Attentive Driving
The latest new car technologies bring important safety features to driving that can really help prevent car accidents when used correctly.
Auto accident attorneys also know these features can add to driving distraction and the accidents that many times take place.
Using these features safely requires drivers to understand how they work and remain vigilant even with safety features enabled because safe car technology is not a substitute for careful attentive driving.
With that in mind, drivers of all ages can enjoy this current safe car technology and claim the benefits it should be bringing!