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Safety technologies more limited than people think

Drivers on Oklahoma roadways are likely to overestimate the abilities of vehicle safety technologies like adaptive cruise control, according to the results of a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. A senior researcher on the project said that a substantial proportion of the people who responded were unaware of the limitations of the technologies. The study suggests that American drivers may need more education before they are ready to switch to self-driving cars, which require the drivers to be alert and ready to take the wheel.

With adaptive cruise control, the vehicle can apply the brakes or accelerate on its own. Approximately 29 percent of the drivers studied were at times comfortable doing other things while the car was driving with adaptive cruise control on. Drivers confused the capabilities of automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning systems. A collision warning system gives the driver a warning; automatic emergency braking applies the vehicle’s brakes when there is danger of a crash.

Blind spot monitoring is a safety technology that checks a vehicle’s blind spot for pedestrians, bicycles or other vehicles. Almost 80 percent of the drivers studied didn’t know the ways in which this technology is limited. Approximately 25 percent of the drivers failed to check their blind spots when changing lanes because they believed the monitoring technology made it unnecessary.

When people don’t understand the features and limitations of their vehicles, it can lead to car accidents. An attorney with experience in personal injury law might be able to help a person who has been injured seek an appropriate settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the offer is inadequate, a lawsuit might be the next step.