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Most drivers overestimate the abilities of car safety systems

According to a new study, most drivers in New Jersey and across the U.S. are over-dependent on their vehicle's collision avoidance systems. The study was conducted by researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Collision avoidance systems are increasingly available on new car and truck models. Examples of these advanced safety technologies include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking systems and blind spot monitoring systems. However, the AAA study found that many drivers don't understand the limitations of these systems and, as a result, engage in risky driving behaviors.

For example, researchers found that 29 percent of drivers who use adaptive cruise control sometimes engage in other activities once they turn the system on, essentially depending on the car to drive itself. Meanwhile, almost 80 percent of drivers believe their vehicle's blind spot monitoring system is more capable than it is. Because of this misunderstanding, around 25 percent of drivers no longer check for oncoming vehicles before they change lanes. Finally, more than 40 percent of drivers confuse forward collision warning systems with automatic emergency braking systems. However, there is a critical difference between the two technologies: Forward collision technology senses impending accidents and warns the driver to hit the brakes while automatic emergency braking technology senses impending accidents and automatically applies the brakes for the driver.

Drivers are responsible for maintaining safe control over their vehicles at all times. When distracted drivers cause car accidents, they might be sued for damages in civil court. An attorney may help an injured victim file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver. This might lead to a financial settlement that covers pain and suffering, current and future medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and lost wages.

Source: USA Today, "Most drivers don't understand limitations of car safety systems, AAA finds," Nathan Bomey, Sept. 26, 2018

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