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Do warning systems impact distracted driving likelihood?

When it comes to new auto safety technologies, there are many things it can be important to look into. One is what impacts the technology might have on driver behavior.

One of the types of new auto technologies out there are warning systems, such as forward collision warning systems. A recent IIHS study looked into whether warning systems have any impacts on one particular aspect of driver behavior. Specifically, it looked at whether such systems affected the likelihood of drivers engaging in distracted driving.

The study looked at a group of adult drivers and a group of juvenile drivers. For both groups, random clips of the participants’ driving were taken during the course of the study. For the adults, all of the drivers spent part of the study driving without a warning system, and the other part driving with a prototype warning system. For the juveniles, only part of the group split their driving time this way, with the reminder of the group driving without the warning system for the entirety of the study. The warning system in question included curve speed, blind spot, lane departure and forward collision warnings.

The clips were reviewed to see if they showed the drivers engaging in any distracting secondary behaviors when driving. The study looked into whether there were differences in the occurrence of such behaviors between the clips of driving with a warning system and the clips of driving without one.

The study found that, for both the adult drivers and the juvenile drivers, there was no meaningful difference in the occurrence of secondary behaviors between driving with a warning system and driving without one.

So, it appears that warning systems may not be on the list of things that impact, either positively or negatively, distracted driving likelihood. However, even given this, this list remains a long one. Given distracted driving’s potential to cause great harm, it is important for drivers to be aware of what things might be impacting this likelihood for them, and to use this awareness to keep their own driving safe and responsible.

What things do you feel are most effective at discouraging drivers from driving distracted? What things do you see as having the biggest risks of encouraging distracted driving?

Skilled attorneys can help individuals harmed by drivers who let themselves get distracted behind the wheel with legal issues related to their accident and injuries.

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