New Auto Safety Technology Come With Little Technology for Drivers

Vehicle Safety Technology Attorney - The Cooper Firm

New Auto Safety Technology Come With Little Technology for Drivers

Safety technology has allowed vehicles to almost completely drive themselves, but with the new technology additions to vehicles there has been little to no education for drivers.

Vehicles can brake themselves before getting too close to another object, move back into its lane if it starts drifting, alert drivers if there is a vehicle in its blind spot, and some more advanced vehicles have adaptive cruise control allowing drivers to ride hands- and foot-free. Many of these safety technology features will completely revolutionize safety for vehicles and prevent thousands of accidents and injuries from occurring. Unfortunately, a large portion of drivers have these technologies on their vehicles but do not know how they work making them potential hazards.

Due to the lack of education regarding these technology features, the Department of Transportation along with the University of Iowa have started an education campaign to help explain to drivers how these technologies work. The campaign will include a website that drivers can view video demonstrations on how each technology works (Mycardoeswhat.org). The University of Iowa also conducted a study where the majority of drivers said they were not sure how the technology worked. About 40 percent of individuals in the study said their vehicle had behaved in an unexpected way.

The least understood technology, according to the University of Iowa, was adaptive cruise control, which allows a vehicle to slow or speed up to maintain a constant following distance. Some adaptive cruise controls do even more than that, such as the newest Tesla model, which you can read more about here.  Adaptive cruise control has been around for nearly a decade, but is still misunderstood. The safety technology features vary from model to model making it even more difficult. Owner’s manuals rarely explain how each system works and are often written in a way that makes it hard for owners to understand. Even though some automakers will offer CDs or DVDs on how to use the safety system, drivers usually never spend the time to sit down and watch them, or don’t even know that that’s what the disc are intended for.

Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge can make these technologies dangerous. In some situations, owners think the safety systems do more than they actually do, such as completely stop a vehicle if it is too close when it will actually only alert the driver if they are too close. In some cases, alerts can catch drivers off guard causing them to over correct. Some systems still require the driver to brake or steer, they are simply warning signals, while others will correct, brake or function for the driver.

New drivers and teens are not learning these technologies in their driving courses either. Most state-required curriculum is years behind the newest technology. They are still talking about airbags and anti-lock brakes, but nothing like lane departure warnings or automatic braking.

Even though vehicles are capable of being completely self driving, due to the lag in regulations it will be years before we will see them across the nation. In the meantime, there needs to be more partnering with automakers for education on these technologies.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a product defect or vehicle, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

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