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Study finds car safety systems may increase distracted driving

| Jan 10, 2020 | Car Accidents

Pennsylvania drivers who have automated safety features in their vehicles, such as adaptive cruise control, may think these features make them safer on the road. However, according to a study by the AAA Foundation, drivers with these features are twice as likely to engage in distracting activities. It may be that people who have these systems do not fully understand them and do not realize that they still need to remain alert while they are behind the wheel.

Adaptive cruise control helps prevent drivers from following other cars too closely while lane-keeping assist technology gently nudges vehicles that are wandering into the other lane. The study’s project manager said the auto industry may need to better educate drivers about the advantages and limitations of the safety systems, which lack the sophistication that self-driving cars will eventually need to have.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute who looked at video footage of drivers. A study conducted byThe University of Utah researchers for AAA in 2017 reached similar conclusions, finding that drivers were easily distracted by the touchscreens in a car and that this raised the risk of an accident.

Distracted driving is a serious problem, but it can be difficult to identify accidents that are caused by it because it often depends on self-reporting by the distracted driver. However, it is important to determine the cause of an accident if there are injuries because the responsible party may be liable for expenses associated with the accident. An attorney may be able to assist a person in obtaining compensation. It is generally necessary to establish whether the driver was negligent in some way. In some cases, an insurance company may resist paying or may try to pay insufficient compensation. This might lead to a civil lawsuit.