Does Reliance on Vehicle Safety Tech Make Us More Careless?

Categories: Accidents

Does Reliance on Vehicle Safety Tech Make Us More Careless?

By May 2018, all new cars and trucks on the market in Canada must have rear view cameras, and this requirement is being added in the United States as well. Also, automakers in Canada have promised to make automatic braking standard on all vehicles, by 2022.

It is true that both are substantial advances for public safety. Research shows that both technologies will reduce the number of crashes and fatalities. Many drivers also think these technologies are exciting because it shows that cars that can drive themselves are perhaps only a few years away.

Experts caution, though, that it will be many years before anyone can hop in their car, turn on a movie on their cell phone and have the car drive them to work or home. It is possible this might not even happen in our lifetimes.

Meanwhile, what drivers have are helpful ‘driver assist’ technologies. While they are helpful, they can lull drivers into a sense of false security that these tools can completely protect them. They cannot. In some cases, these safety features can cause more problems than they solve when drivers are overly reliant on them.

One of the new safety features that some driving instructors strongly dislike is the blind spot warning system available in new vehicles. The system features sensors to check for hazards, such as vehicles, in the left and right side blind spots. The system typically will alert the driver with an audio warning or a vibration in the steering wheel.

Driving instructors are critical of the system because it may encourage drivers to stop looking over their shoulders to check for hazards. Regarding lane departure systems, some wonder if the safety system is encouraging people to drive while tired or to text, knowing the car will correct them. Some drivers have actually said they love that feature because it allows them to text and drive ‘safely.’

Research Shows New Auto Safety Features Can Reduce Safety

Researchers at the iDAPT Centre for Rehabilitation Research in Toronto say they have seen that many driver assist features on new vehicles are not keeping drivers safer. The research indicates that people become too dependent upon technology that can fail or malfunction, such as the lane departure warning system. Their research also showed that the ability to stay in lane dropped when lane assist was added to the vehicle.

The bottom line for all drivers to remember is that as driver assist safety technologies become more available, all drivers still need to remember what their vehicles can and cannot do. Even the best designed and safest car will never replace what you learned in driver’s school.

Drivers also should remember that if they injure someone in their vehicle while relying on driver assist technology, they still can be held liable in civil court and sued for damages.

Talk to A Southern California Personal Injury Attorney Now

If you are in a car accident, you may have serious injuries that are causing you pain and suffering and time off work. If so, you may have a legal right to be compensated for your losses. Neale & Fhima has many years of experience holding reckless drivers accountable for their actions. If you have been injured by a reckless driver, please contact our law offices serving Los Angeles and Orange counties for a complimentary consultation.