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Modern safety features could make drivers more dangerous

Advanced accident prevention features like automatic emergency braking systems, blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control could be making the roads of North Carolina and around the country more dangerous instead of safer according to a recent report from the American Automobile Association. The AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety came to this sobering conclusion after surveying 1,200 American drivers who purchased new cars equipped with such systems in 2016 and 2017.

The information collected by AAA researchers reveals that most drivers believe car accident avoidance systems work far better than they actually do and do not understand the technology's limitations. This overconfidence often prompts motorists to rely too much on safety features and not enough on their driving skills according to the report. The researchers say that their findings suggest that America may not yet be ready for a full rollout of semi-autonomous vehicles.

The researchers say that they were concerned when 29 percent of the drivers surveyed admitted to taking their eyes off the road so they could tend to other tasks while adaptive cruise control systems were working. They engage in such behavior despite warnings from manufacturers that remind them to remain vigilant and alert at all times. More than 80 percent of the motorists questioned for the AAA report overestimated the capabilities of blind-spot monitoring systems, and approximately four in ten of the respondents did not understand the differences between emergency braking technology and less sophisticated forward-collision warning systems.

Driver assistance technology constantly processes information gathered by sensors, cameras and radar, and this data is usually stored on black box-type devices under the hood. This information can reveal how fast cars were traveling and how they were being driven in the seconds prior to a collision. When motorists are reluctant to take responsibility for their reckless behavior, experienced personal injury attorneys may use the information stored on automobile data recorders to establish negligent behavior in car accident lawsuits.

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