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Study finds drivers over-reliant on car safety systems

If Virginia drivers are like most Americans, they are overestimating the abilities of their vehicle's advanced safety technologies. As a result, they could be at risk for causing a serious accident, according to a new study.

Advanced safety technologies like blind spot monitoring systems, adaptive cruise control and automatic braking systems have become increasingly common in new vehicles. However, according to researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, most drivers don't fully understand the limitations of these systems and become over-reliant on them as a result.

Specifically, the study found that almost 80 percent of drivers overestimate the capabilities of their blind spot monitoring systems, believing that they are better at detecting vehicles and pedestrians than they actually are. Worse, around 25 percent of drivers fail to check their blind spots before they change lanes, relying on the blind spot monitoring system to protect them. Meanwhile, over 40 percent of drivers think that forward collision warning systems and automatic emergency braking systems are the same thing. However, forward collision warning systems only warn drivers of impending collisions while automatic emergency braking systems actually take control of a vehicle to avoid a collision. In addition, approximately 29 percent of drivers who use adaptive cruise control on their vehicle admit that they are comfortable "engaging in other activities" after turning the system on, leaving the car to drive itself.

Thousands of serious motor vehicle accidents are caused by distracted driving every year. Victims of distracted driving car crashes have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident. An attorney may be able to assess a victim's case, help gather evidence supporting a personal injury claim and work to obtain a fair settlement.

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

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