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Roanoke & Southwest Virginia

How Automobile Technology Can Cause Distracted Driving

Virginia auto accident attorneyAutomobile technology is rapidly making headway. Many new vehicles are already equipped with semi-autonomous and infotainment technology – which are both intended to eliminate human error or increase convenience. 

We recently discussed the danger of livestreaming while driving following an autonomous Uber accident that left a Phoenix pedestrian dead.  

But while most drivers will eventually have the option to utilize this technology, it’s not a substitute for driver responsibility. 

When technology fails, your attention is needed

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), engineers have been testing new semi-autonomous features – adaptive cruise control and active lane-keeping.  

Adaptive cruise control is designed to set a specific speed and distance when following a vehicle. When evaluated by engineers, adaptive cruise control (ACC) proved to be effective in a variety of scenarios, including when vehicles in front were slowing down, changing lanes, or stopping. However, there were a few instances in which vehicles failed to stop when needed.  

Active lane-keeping can provide steering assistance when navigating curves and hills. While this feature proved to be effective some of the time, there were a few instances in which drivers had to override the steering assistance to bring their test vehicle back in line. When drivers took over the steering, the feature disengaged.  

We can’t rely on technology 100 percent of the time. When it fails to do what it’s intended to do, it’s important that drivers stay alert and aware at all times so they will be ready to act.  

In a survey conducted by Esurance, drivers of vehicles with semi-autonomous features admitted to being: 

  • Often or sometimes distracted - 21%  
  • Occasionally distracted - 43% 
  • Rarely distracted - 36% 

Drivers without semi-autonomous features admitted to being:  

  • Often or sometimes distracted - 16% 
  • Occasionally distracted - 39% 
  • Rarely distracted - 45% 

If you’ve been injured in a distracted driving crash, we can help.

This is not to say that safety technology is a bad idea. But it should be approached with caution. Even if your vehicle is 100 percent autonomous, it’s never safe to take your attention off the road and use a handheld device.  

If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages. It’s crucial that you speak to an experienced Virginia auto accident attorney as soon as possible. 

Contact Davis, Davis, Davis & Davis, PC today to discuss your options.

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