Advanced Driver Assistance Tech Leads to Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

You may have suspected that people using “autopilot” functions are more likely to engage in distracting activities while they are driving. If so, a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has confirmed your suspicion. Experienced users of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) were nearly twice as likely to drive distracted while they had the tech on than when driving without the assistance. Of course, ADAS aren’t really autopilot, they are not designed to be, and even within what they are supposed to do they sometimes fail. There is no autopilot for your car. Not yet, anyway.

Increased Attention Until the Novelty Wears Off

AAA researchers found that ADAS actually increased attention in drivers who were new to the technology. This also is not surprising. When something is new, it’s interesting, and maybe something you don’t quite trust. New users of ADAS were less likely to engage in distractions while using the tech than when they were driving without it.

Not Self-Driving Cars

The vision of a world with self-driving cars may be very enticing, but we are not there yet. Not even close. Right now, we have driver assistance systems, pieces and parts of what will one day become self-driving systems, technology that can help prevent an accident when drivers miss something or react too slowly, but not a replacement for constant and full engagement by drivers. ADAS include lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control. Some will even slam on the brakes for you to avoid a collision.

None of them do everything, and none of them are perfect. They are a back-up to hopefully fill in the gaps when drivers make mistakes. They are not meant to be relied upon, but to enhance safety beyond the level that can be achieved by humans who are paying full attention.

If you have been hurt by a distracted driver, contact an experienced auto accident attorney in your state.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.