While fully self-driving cars are not yet available to the public, there are various individual automated safety features that automakers offer with some of their vehicles. What impacts are these features having on traffic safety? As a recent article notes, a pair of studies suggests that, when it comes to two of these features at least, they appear to be reducing accidents.
The two technologies in question are:
- Blind-spot monitoring. These systems track whether anything is in the driver’s blind spot. They warn a driver if anything is detected.
- Lane-keeping systems. These systems monitor whether a car is staying in its lane. They warn a driver, or in some cases may even take action to keep the car in the lane, if they detect that the vehicle is drifting out of its lane.
One study found that vehicles with blind-spot monitoring, as compared to their counterparts that didn’t have such a system, had a lower likelihood of being involved in lane-changing crashes. The other found that cars with a lane-keeping system were less likely to be in single-vehicle, head-on and sideswipe accidents than their counterparts that lacked such a system.
Now, while such systems can help with crash prevention, how much they are able to help in this regard may significantly depend on how drivers act. Other research has pointed to some drivers allowing themselves to be distracted by or to be less vigilant in their driving due to becoming overly reliant on automated safety features. Drivers acting less safely behind the wheel because they assume automated safety features will catch their mistakes could cause such technologies to not have as big of an overall positive effect on traffic safety as they could.
So, an important thing to remember is that how drivers act remains incredibly important, even in an age where an increased number of automated safety features are out there.
How drivers act behind the wheel also remains a major issue in personal injury cases. What evidence a car accident victim has on this issue can have major impacts on their options in such cases. One wonders if the growth of automated safety features will have any significant impacts on how easy/difficult it is for crash victims to prove that a driver committed unsafe conduct. Skilled attorneys can help car accident victims with gathering and reviewing evidence related to a crash.