If you have recently purchased a new car, it is likely equipped with an array of new technology designed to keep you safe. Automatic emergency brakes and lane-keeping systems are just two examples of the newest safety features available on new cars. While these systems are designed to keep us safe, driver confusion with how these features work can lead to serious and sometimes fatal car accidents.
Drivers who are making the switch from an older model car to a more automated model need time to familiarize themselves with the new technology before taking to the road. Knowing what systems are on board and how they work is pivotal to safety. Automation still has its flaws and drivers need to stand ready to command the vehicle. If the vehicle is not able to adjust quickly enough to a sudden change, a serious or fatal accident can occur if the driver puts too much confidence in the technology.
Because new automated safety systems are entering the market at such a rapid pace, industry standards have not yet been set. Different car manufacturers are using various forms of automated technology, so not all vehicles’ systems operate the same way. Variances in automated safety systems by different manufacturers can lead to driver confusion.
Rental car companies are encountering their own issues as automated safety features become standard on new cars. Rental car customers are used to standard features in most cars and rely on consistent operation between vehicles. A driver who encounters new technology on a rental vehicle can increase their risk of a car accident if they are unfamiliar with these features and how they work.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of serious and fatal car accidents in the U.S. Close to 40,000 people died in car accidents in the 2016, which was an increase of 5,000 deaths from the year 2014. Of these fatalities, almost 4,000 were the direct result of distracted driving.
Surprisingly, despite more automated safety features becoming standard on new cars, the number of fatal car accidents continues to rise. One possible reason for this is that some of the safety features on new cars actually cause driver distraction. As bells and whistles go off to warn of impending danger, drivers may take their eyes off the road to decipher what the warning means.
In a recent survey, ten percent of drivers said that the new automated safety features in cars were actually inhibiting their driving. Thirty percent of surveyed drivers reported being significantly distracted by the alarms, blinking lights, and other warning signals in the car’s automated system. Many drivers are reportedly disconnecting these features to avoid these distractions.
Car manufacturers need to reduce the unintended negative effects of their safety systems. Until then, drivers need to be aware of the dangers associated with the technology that is supposed to keep them safe.
If you have been injured in a car accident, call the Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at Williams Cedar at 215-557-0099 or 856-470-9777, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our offices are located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey and serve clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and nationwide.