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Car safety tech is backfiring on uninformed drivers

Missouri residents are aware that there are car safety features that can help prevent accidents by, for example, warning drivers to obstacles when backing up or changing lanes. According to federal estimates, driver assistance systems can cut down on car accidents by 40 percent and accident-related deaths by 30 percent. Yet more and more drivers are overestimating the abilities of these systems.

This is the conclusion of a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study found that 80 percent of drivers with blind-spot monitoring are unaware of its limited ability to identify fast-approaching cars, bicyclists and pedestrians. 20 percent do not look for oncoming cars when changing lanes because of their trust in their technology.

AAA found a lack of understanding regarding the basic functions of certain safety features with over 40 percent of drivers unable to tell apart their automatic emergency braking from the forward-collision warning. Adaptive cruise control, on the other hand, is contributing to distracted driving. 29 percent say they feel comfortable engaging in other activities when this feature is activated.

Several factors are involved in this trend, one is misleading marketing. Automakers, dealers and rental-car companies may also be failing to educate their customers on the limitations of each feature. It leads to the question of whether drivers can adapt to partially self-driving cars.

Drivers will become negligent behind the wheel the moment they think that car safety features can replace, rather than simply assist, them. If texting and driving or some other form of negligent driving is behind an accident, victims will want to know as much as they can about the circumstances. That way, they could seek damages in a third-party insurance claim. It all begins with a case evaluation; a lawyer might be able to have third-party experts build up the claim and then negotiate for the settlement.