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AAA finds increased car accidents with automated safety devices

Progress toward fully automated vehicles, like any other technological innovation, relies upon stepping stones. In this case, the steps are the implementation of sensor technology in partially automated systems that provide safety assistance to drivers. But what happens when the safety system actually decreases safety? Research by industry groups found that some of the more popular safety devices relying on partial automation technology could be placing Oklahoma drivers at a higher risk of a car accident.

A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety singled out two safety options for scrutiny. Lane-keeping assistance provides gentle redirection of the steering wheel based on sensor feedback. This helps inform the driver of the possible need for more corrective action to avoid car accidents. Adaptive cruise control adjusts vehicle speed using sensors that monitor the proximity of other vehicles in front of the car.

As researchers pointed out, these safety options are not full automation. They require an alert driver to use sensor feedback. However, drivers appeared to be placing too much faith in the devices, and accidents involving a distracted driver were found to increase among drivers the more they used the technology. The researchers were careful to point out that poor driver education was more at fault than the safety systems.

The problem of distracted driving has not diminished over the years and might increase with more touchscreen and safety devices available than ever. The costs to Oklahoma drivers include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and potentially lifelong complications arising from spine or brain injury. Anyone would find it a daunting task ensuring the accident investigation is thorough and the compensation from insurance is enough to meet victims’ needs. Victims may turn this burden over to an experienced attorney who is dedicated to pursuing the greatest chance of recovery that money can buy.