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Advanced safety systems may encourage dangerous driving

Automobile showrooms in Minnesota and around the country are filled with vehicles featuring sophisticated crash avoidance technology. However, a recent study from the American Automobile Association suggests that features like blind-spot monitoring systems, emergency braking and adaptive cruise control may be making the nation's roads more rather than less dangerous. Researchers from the advocacy group Foundation for Traffic Safety say that consumers may act recklessly behind the wheel of vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems because they believe that they are far more capable than they really are.

The AAA study was based on a poll of 1,200 consumers who purchased cars and SUVs in 2016 and 2017 that were equipped with crash avoidance systems. Researchers discovered that most drivers overestimated the capabilities of adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring systems and automatic emergency braking and were not aware of the limitations of this kind of technology.

A worrying 29 percent of the respondents told researchers that they sometimes take their eyes off the road and focus on other tasks after engaging their adaptive cruise control systems, and 40 percent did not understand how forward-collision monitoring systems that watch out for dangerous situations and technology that applies brakes automatically differed. Only 2 in 10 of the motorists surveyed understood the limitations of blind-spot monitoring systems and used the technology as intended, according to the researchers.

Experienced personal injury attorneys may seek to have the vehicles involved in car accidents inspected. These examinations could reveal signs of neglected maintenance or shoddy repairs, and they may also yield data that could be used to establish negligence and liability in court. This is because the electronic systems in modern vehicles store large amounts of data that may reveal how fast the vehicles were traveling when they crashed and whether the drivers took any action to avoid a collision.

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