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How Effective are Crash Avoidance Safety Features?

Motor vehicle companies are constantly in a race to provide potential customers with the latest and greatest products. The current craze is crash avoidance safety technology. Numerous companies are scrambling to put new fleets on the market that include these updated safety features as a selling point.

Crash avoidance safety features can alert drivers to potential hazards and dangerous road conditions. When a driver fails to take appropriate action, the vehicle can take control by breaking or steering autonomously.

crash avoidance technology includes the following features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Auto-breaking
  • Back-up parking assistance
  • Blind spot detection
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane departure prevention
  • Adaptive headlights

With distracted driving accidents on the rise, crash avoidance technology seems like a revolutionary first step in saving countless lives by preventing accidents. There are even advanced driver assistance systems (ADA) that are purely autonomous unless the driver wants to take control of the car in an emergency situation. But is this level of crash avoidance technology truly effective? Or are drivers facing new and greater risks?

A Question of Safety

The Highway Loss Data Institute recently conducted a safety analysis study of forward collision warning systems, adaptive headlights, and lane departure warning systems. Forward collision warning systems, which re also known as “collision avoidance systems,” are designed to prevent or reduce the severity of accidents by using radar and cameras to detect impending collisions. Certain motor vehicles even have autonomous brake functions that can take action if a driver fails to respond in time. According to the report, forward collision warning technology is incredibly effective at reducing the number of highway accidents.

Likewise, adaptive headlights also scored very highly on the study. These headlights redirect light beams based on which direction the steering wheel happens to be turning. This increases a driver’s ability to see around curves and over hills at night. According to the study, adaptive headlights have reduced the overall number of accident claims by 10%.

However, lane departure warning systems did not rate nearly as well. Ideally, this system utilizes special cameras to keep drivers from drifting into other lanes. Unfortunately, the cameras often have trouble detecting old or fading lane markers. If drivers become reliant on this system instead of using their common sense, the likelihood of an accident actually increases.

Driver Responsibility

The downside of crash avoidance technology is that drivers are pressured to obey the commands of their cars instead of focusing on the road and relying on their own instincts and intuition. Worse, a driver can learn to tune out the persistent sensor warnings, ultimately making the system ineffective.

While crash avoidance safety features provide many opportunities to drivers, the technology still has a long way to go. At present, it’s not unusual for an autonomous vehicle to make a correction that actually ends up causing an accident. Drivers owe a duty of care to others and can’t just rely on technology when they are operating a vehicle.

Schedule a Consultation

A driver is still liable for an accident if their car’s crash avoidance safety features are responsible for a collision. If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to the negligent actions of a driver, contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC to explore your legal options. Our Austin car accident lawyer can investigate your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, represent your best interests in court. Our legal team has the skills and resources to secure compensation that reflects your legal and financial objectives.

You can focus on your recovery while we handle the legal details. Contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC at (512) 271-5112 if you’re ready to file a claim.

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