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Some drivers may rely too much on car safety technology

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has a new study out that addresses a dangerous trend among drivers in California and across the U.S. This trend is the overreliance on car safety features. It appears that many drivers do not understand the limitations of these features. AAA puts part of the blame on misleading marketing and also calls out dealers, manufacturers and rental-car companies for failing to educate their customers properly.

According to the AAA survey, 80 percent of drivers with a blind-spot monitoring system were not aware of this feature's limited ability to detect fast-approaching vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. Even worse, 20 percent were confident enough to never look for oncoming vehicles when changing lanes.

Nearly 30 percent of drivers with adaptive cruise control, which can accelerate and brake on its own to keep up with traffic flow, say that they feel comfortable doing other things behind the wheel when it is activated. Another issue is an inability to tell apart certain features; over 40 percent cannot do this with their automatic emergency braking and their forward-collision warning.

AAA emphasizes that car safety technology is effective. According to federal estimates, it can reduce the number of car crashes by 40 percent and accident fatalities by 30 percent. However, it's important to remember that such technology is meant to assist, not replace, drivers.

Motorists who do no keep this in mind will engage in negligent behavior. Therefore, someone who incurs an auto accident injury through another's negligence can rest assured that they have grounds for an injury claim. Receiving damages is another matter, which is why the victim may want a lawyer to negotiate on their behalf with the defendant's auto insurance company.

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