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Should drivers rely on ADAS technology? AAA researchers say no.

Alabama auto accident attorney

You may have heard about the new tech safety features that come standard in many new cars that can detect crash risks, sound alerts, and even take over vehicle functions. They're dubbed advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Their purpose is to mitigate crashes caused by human error and can even react faster than the average human driver.

Like all advanced technology, glitches can occur. In fact, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that relying on ADAS technology to pick up the slack can heighten the risk of a crash.

Users more likely to drive distracted

AAA researchers teamed up with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to monitor the behaviors of two groups of drivers. The first group consisted of drivers with adequate experience using ADAS technology. The second group had either no experience or little experience.

After monitoring the two groups with video footage over a four-week period, the study concluded that:

  • Drivers with more experience were more likely to engage in distracted driving. Some were even observed texting and adjusting their radios.
  • Drivers with less ADAS experience didn't trust the technology as much as the first group. Therefore, they were more attentive and engaged.

Virginia Tech researchers believe that the group less experienced with ADAS could eventually become more comfortable with the technology. As a result, they could become confident in their ability to disengage from the task of driving.

How do ADAS features work?

  • Automatic emergency braking (AEB): Other cars, objects, pedestrians, and bicyclists are detected by ADAS sensors. The brakes are then automatically applied to avoid a collision. Other types of AEB include:
    • City AEB: Applies to city speeds
    • High-speed AEB: Applies to highway speeds
    • Rear AEB: Applies to driving in reverse
  • Detection and warning systems: Uses radars, lasers, and cameras to detect collisions risks and alerts drivers. These systems include:
    • Forward-collision warning: Detects forward-collision risks and alerts drivers
    • Pedestrian detection: Detects pedestrians in the road and alerts drivers
    • Lane departure warning: Detects when a car is drifting out of its lane and alerts the driver
    • Blindspot warning: Detects other cars in the blindspot and alerts the driver
    • Rear cross-traffic warning: Detects collision risks when backing up and alerts the driver
  • Steering assistance: Sensors detect when a driver is about to cross the centerline or veer off the road. ADAS functioning automatically takes control of the steering wheel. These systems include:
    • Lane-centering assist: Helps to prevent a car from crossing a centerline
    • Lane-keeping assist: Helps to keep a car in its lane
  • Adaptive cruise control: Helps to maintain a safe following distance between two cars

Why should drivers take precautions?

ADAS technology was never designed to replace driver responsibility. It was only intended to reduce the likelihood of a crash. Drivers must still keep their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and attention on driving.

If you were hurt in a crash with a driver who wasn't paying attention, don't hesitate to speak with an experienced Mobile, Alabama car accident attorney. You may be entitled to compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and additional damages. To find out what legal options are available to you, contact Dean Waite & Associates, LLC today and schedule your free case evaluation.

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