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Are advanced driver assistance systems causing distracted driving?

New Mexico auto accident attorney

Does autonomous and semi-autonomous technology — designed to prevent crashes — sound too good to be true? If the answer is "yes," you may be right.

The most popular tech-savvy features to enter the automobile market include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, forward collision warning systems, and lane-keeping assist. These features fall under an umbrella term: "advanced drivers assistance systems" (ADAS). More of today's cars are coming standard with them.

ADAS uses an array of sensors to detect potential crash risks. They, then, either alert drivers to act or take over vehicle functions.

Is ADAS safe to use?

The use of ADAS technology in and of itself doesn't pose a problem and can help mitigate human error. The real danger comes from drivers who fail to recognize the limitations of this technology and place far too much confidence in it.

According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who rely on ADAS technology are more likely to be distracted behind the wheel. In the study, AAA teamed up with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to monitor two groups of study participants.

The first group involved drivers who had extensive experience using ADAS technology. The study found that this group was more likely to take their attention away from driving. Video footage captured some participants texting and tuning their radios. The second group had little experience with ADAS technology and were found to be more cautious and attentive.

Responsible use of ADAS is key to preventing a crash

Researchers from Virginia Tech warned that drivers with little experience with ADAS could end up driving distracted if they become comfortable with the technology. In order to avoid this, AAA urges drivers to use ADAS technology responsibly by following the ACE method:

  • Always stay engaged in the task of driving.
  • Commit to learning about your car's features and how they operate.
  • Expect that ADAS features will have limitations.

“Remember, technology fails us daily while at work and at home. So, don’t get caught driving distracted when being focused on the road can save your life,” said Dr. William Van Tassel, AAA manager of driver training programs.

No amount of technology can replace responsibility behind the wheel. If computers, cellphones, and other smart technology can experience sudden glitches, so can ADAS technology.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash because another driver was distracted, it's critical that you take legal action. The Szantho Law Firm represents injured motorists in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. To find out how we can help you pursue a legal claim and maximize your compensation, contact us online. We offer free case evaluations.

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