Does Driver Assistance Technology Lead to Distracted Driving?

Newer cars are filled with features meant to keep drivers safe on the roadway. However, as cars begin to take over some of our basic driving functions, we want to examine whether these features can actually increase distracted driving behaviors. While it may seem counter-intuitive that features designed to keep us safe may make us less safe, we need to be aware of how this technology is affecting our driving.

AAA Research on Driver Assistance Tech

A recent report from AAA shows that people who regularly use advanced driver-assistance technologies that have become common-place in vehicles are much more likely to be distracted behind the wheel. These systems, they say, can make a vehicle semi-autonomous, essentially giving the driver a false sense of security behind the wheel.

Risk Compensation

Some drivers, warns the National Transportation Safety Board, become too reliant on driver-assisted tech and pay more attention to other things, like talking on the phone, texting, browsing the internet, and more.

The idea that drivers will operate less carefully behind the wheel if they know their vehicles are equipped with safety features is called “risk compensation.” The theory behind this is that people unconsciously adjust their driving behaviors because they feel more protected.

Common Types of Driver Assistance Technology

CBS recently reported that 93% of new vehicles on the roadway have features that can make them semi-autonomous. Some of the most common types of driver-assisted technologies include:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic parking (parallel and traditional parking)
  • Heads-up display systems
  • Back-up cameras
  • Driver monitoring
  • Speed adaptation
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Electronic stabilization
  • Lane centering
  • Lane departure warning
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Crash avoidance systems

Importance of Understanding Tech & Safety Features

Drivers who have never used driver-assisted tech are found to be less distracted behind the wheel. While this may seem counter-intuitive, this is because they do not know how to use the technology or simply do not trust it to keep them completely protected.

Every driver needs to understand that driver-assisted tech is not meant to replace responsible driving. It is never okay for a driver not to be completely focused on the roadway. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately nine people are killed and thousands are injured each day in the US due to distracted driving.

When to Call a Charleston Car Accident Attorney

The best time to involve a Charleston car accident attorney is as soon as you are harmed due to another driver’s actions. The sooner an attorney gets to work on your case, the better. An attorney will work to:

  • Preserve all evidence from the scene, including photos and video surveillance, eyewitness statements, police reports, and more.
  • Obtain the vehicle’s “black box” that should contain a record of which driver-assisted tech was engaged at the time of the incident.
  • Work with all parties to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident that was caused by another person’s actions, seek legal assistance today. At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, we are ready to get to work on your behalf. Our team will investigate the crash and work to secure any compensation you may be entitled to. When you need a West Virginia auto accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by filling out our online form or calling (304) 720-6700.