Why should drivers avoid becoming too comfortable with ADAS technology?

Florida car accident attorney

Active driver assistance systems (ADAS) are autonomous and semi-autonomous features that control acceleration, braking and steering. These features now come standard on many new cars, yet some drivers tend to overlook their limitations.

ADAS systems are touted as safe and effective technology that can reduce the likelihood of a crash linked to human error. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, this can create unrealistic expectations among drivers of new cars.

Dr. David Yang is the executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. He explains what ADAS systems are actually intended for and what drivers should expect out of them.

“These systems assist the driver and take some of the stress out of driving, but they don’t eliminate the need for drivers to pay attention," said Yang.

How do drivers feel about ADAS technology?

In AAA's latest study, 90 participants were given a brief overview of a fictitious ADAS feature with a believable name. Half of these participants were told that they would use a feature called “AutonoDrive” and were trained on the feature's capabilities. The other half were told that they would use a feature called “DriveAssist” and were trained on its limitations and driver responsibility.

Researchers found that the group using AutonoDrive felt confident in its capabilities, and 42 percent of participants in this group said that the name of the feature made it seem more capable of working. Only 11 percent of the group using DriveAssist felt confident in its capabilities.

Here are the differences in how participants felt about both features:

  • 65% of AutonoDrive users and 27% DriveAssist said they would feel more comfortable eating while driving.
  • 45% of AutonoDrive users and 13% DriveAssist said they would feel more comfortable using a cellphone while driving.
  • 42% of AutonoDrive users and 4% DriveAssist trusted their features' capabilities to prevent a collision when another car switches lanes.
  • 56% of AutonoDrive users and 27% DriveAssist trusted their features' to automatically reduce speed when approaching a curve.

Why is it important that drivers stay engaged in the task of driving?

These results show that drivers need to be further educated on the limitations of ADAS technology and the importance of staying attentive and fully engaged behind the wheel. In addition, AAA urges car makers and those marketing ADAS technology to provide more realistic insight into their capabilities and limitations. This can be accomplished by focusing these four rules dubbed PLAN:

  • Purpose – Drivers should know the purpose of ADAS technology by reading their driver manual.
  • Limitations – It's never safe to make assumptions about ADAS technology. That's why drivers should know their limitations.
  • Allow Time For Testing – Drivers should allow enough time to test this technology on the road so they can gain a better grasp on how it works before using it in a real driving situation.
  • Never Rely On It – Drivers should always be engaged in the task of driving. Relying solely on this technology can be dangerous when it unexpectedly malfunctions.

Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research explains why.

“Automakers are in the business of selling vehicles. Understandably, they will emphasize convenience and system capabilities in their marketing campaigns. But, their marketing campaigns, materials and consumer information should not mislead motorists. Words matter. We can do better by taking care to be more realistic in setting expectations for consumers such that the sale of a new vehicle does not come at the expense of safety.”

Contact a Florida personal injury attorney right away if you were injured in a crash linked to an ADAS malfunction

If you or a loved one was injured in a crash with an inattentive driver whose ADAS technology malfunctioned, you may be eligible for compensation through a car accident claim.

To learn more about the legal options available to you, contact the Law Offices of Scott M. Miller, PLLC and schedule your free consultation. We serve clients in Longwood, Florida and the greater Orlando area.