Are we too reliant on vehicle technology?

As the United States moves steadily toward automatic driving, many people are learning to use their new vehicle’s assist features. This new technology is meant to keep drivers safer, but is that what it’s accomplishing?

Some say drivers could develop an unsafe reliance on the technology.

A widespread misunderstanding

A new AAA study found that about 40 percent of Americans hold misconceptions about exactly how much their automated driving systems can do. Driver assist features are not developed to the point that they can actually take over the driver’s responsibilities.

These assist features may be able to:

  • Alert drivers of objects in their blind spot
  • Automatically apply the brakes
  • Correct lane position when a vehicle is drifting into another lane

The features can improve the safety of drivers who end up using them. However, it could be dangerous if drivers behave negligently because they trust the features to take over driving responsibilities for them.

How to keep from being over-reliant

If you own a vehicle with assist features, you should be careful not to allow yourself to take advantage of them too often. You can do this by always driving the way you would if you did not have the features.

For example, those who have cruise control should still keep their foot near the pedals and ready to take action in case a hazard appears on the road. Likewise, those who have a feature that alerts the driver of an object in the blind spot should still check their blind spot before merging.

This will help ensure that a driver can take action in case the technology makes an error or a special circumstance on the road calls for the driver’s attention.

When it leads to an accident

Taking caution to continue practicing defensive driving even while using these assist features is the best way to stay safe on the road. However, if another driver is negligent, an accident could still ensue.

If you are involved in an accident, call an attorney to help build a case against the negligent driver. An attorney can help gather evidence from the scene and the driver’s insurance to prove what happened and get you compensation for the damages.