Many drivers are unaware of the limitations of their car’s safety systems and they rely on the technology to prevent accidents and injuries without taking their own precautions while behind the wheel.
Car Safety Features May Not Keep You Safe
Most new cars are equipped with numerous vehicle safety systems, but according to a report by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, many drivers are not aware that these technologies have limitations that may not keep them completely safe.
Drivers often look for features such as forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking, backup cameras, and blind-spot monitoring. Some drivers rely on these safety features so much that they don’t practice safe driving skills as they should. Many drivers don’t realize that advanced safety features are not meant to replace a driver’s knowledge, skill, and experience with driving.
In recent AAA traffic safety studies, researchers found that up to 80 percent of drivers are not well informed on the safety systems installed in their cars. Drivers with blind-spot monitoring systems thought the technology could detect vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. However, vehicles passing at high speeds cannot be detected. Drivers with forward-collision warning thought that the technology could apply the brakes in an impending collision, however, this system only delivers a warning signal of an impending collision. The driver has to react to the warning and apply the brakes.
Many safety experts are concerned that vehicle advanced safety systems are making drivers too complacent behind the wheel. Economists describe the phenomena as a “moral hazard“. Drivers become too comfortable with these systems and are misinformed about their safety limitations. They rely on the safety features to keep them safe and don’t pay attention to the road and their surroundings while driving. Backup cameras are handy to have when parallel parking or backing out of a driveway, but they often don’t detect other cars, people, or objects that are not in their direct line of sight.
Although advanced safety systems are now installed in most new vehicles, car accidents are still rising according to the National Safety Council. In 2017, more than 4.5 million people suffered injuries from car accidents and another 40,000 people were killed. Rising injuries and deaths from car accidents in the U.S. suggest that advanced vehicle safety systems are not foolproof. Drivers must rely on their own driving skills and take the necessary precautions to prevent car accidents and injuries.