Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law
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AAA report shows drivers overestimate car safety features

Driver assistance systems can cut down on car crashes by 40 percent and crash fatalities by 30 percent, according to federal estimates. Yet they can backfire when drivers become too complacent with them. Virginia residents should know that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report about this trend that affects many drivers.

For instance, 80 percent of drivers with blind-spot monitoring overestimate its ability to detect fast-approaching vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. Twenty-five percent of drivers who utilize this system feel that they can change lanes without looking for oncoming vehicles first.

A total of 29 percent of those with adaptive cruise control feel comfortable engaging in other activities behind the wheel when it is activated, which means they're also engaging in distracted driving. Automatic emergency braking is another feature that has raised issues. More than 40 percent of drivers cannot distinguish its purpose from that of the forward-collision warning.

These safety features are sometimes marketed in a misleading way, and many automakers, dealers and rental car companies fail to educate customers on the limitations of this technology. If these issues are not addressed, drivers will continue to think that such features can replace, not merely assist, them. This will be a problem if semiautonomous vehicles become the norm because these will require driver input when they encounter conditions they cannot handle.

Those who get in a car crash and believe the other party was at fault will want to see a lawyer. Personal injury attorneys usually have networks of professionals who can obtain the police report, mount their own investigation and determine the extent of the plaintiff's injuries. Lawyers can negotiate for a settlement with the defendant's auto insurance company, taking the case to court if one is not agreed upon, or a low settlement offer is made. A successful claim could cover medical expenses, vehicle damage, lost wages and more.

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