Georgia drivers are right to think that their car safety systems keep them safe. Federal estimates say that such systems can reduce crashes by 40 percent and crash fatalities by 30 percent. Still, there are limitations. According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, many drivers are actually unaware of the limitations with blind-spot monitoring systems, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and other features.
The study found that 80 percent of drivers with blind-spot monitoring overestimated its ability to detect fast-approaching cars, bicycles and pedestrians. Because of this, 25 percent failed to check for vehicles when changing lanes.
Roughly 40 percent of drivers cannot distinguish between forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking; some mistakenly believe that both systems can take action for them. As for those with adaptive cruise control, which accelerates and brakes on its own, 29 percent state that they engage in other activities when it is activated.
The results of the study raise questions as to whether drivers can safely transition to self-driving vehicles in the future. AAA researchers are reminding drivers that these safety systems are meant to help drivers, not replace them. They point to misleading marketing as well as lack of input from dealers, car makers and rental-car companies as factors in the current trend.
Ignorance of what a safety feature’s limitations are cannot excuse a driver for causing a car accident. Someone who is injured through little or no fault of their own can consult with a lawyer about filing a claim against the negligent party. If successful, the claim could cover medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost wages and more. The lawyer could start by hiring investigators and other third parties to build up the case with the necessary proof. Legal counsel may then negotiate for a settlement with the defendant’s auto insurance company.