If you’ve purchased a car within the past few years, it probably included more than a few standard features and even more optional ones that make it safer and more enjoyable to drive. Semi-autonomous technology can alert you if you’re drifting into another lane, warn you of vehicles in your blind spot and even brake if there’s something in your path.
While these advancements can save lives, they can also create added distractions for drivers. Many people don’t realize that they’re distractions. Talking and texting or performing other functions on phones as well as using GPS navigation top the list of driver-reported distractions. However, the warning sounds and lights made by enhanced safety technology can also be distracting — so much so that some drivers actually disable them.
In a survey by Esurance, almost half of drivers with semi-autonomous technology said that these features help make them safer drivers. However, 10% reported that they hinder their ability to drive safely.
A quarter of those who chose a vehicle with these safety features reported that they ended up disabling at least one of them. Overall, drivers of vehicles with semi-autonomous technology reported becoming at least occasionally, if not frequently, distracted while driving than those who didn’t have it. Those without it were more likely to report being rarely distracted.
Another potential danger of these advanced safety features is that they can give drivers a false sense of security. They may not be as conscientious about keeping their eyes on the road and checking their blind spots if they believe that their vehicle will do that for them.
This semi-autonomous technology can indeed prevent crashes and prevent injuries or worse. However, it needs to be an adjunct to safe driving habits — not an excuse to take your eyes off the road or a hand off the wheel.
If you’re involved in a crash with a negligent, impaired, distracted or reckless driver, it’s essential to get the compensation you need to deal with medical bills, lost income, other expenses and damages. It may be wise to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to help you do that.