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Many drivers tune out when using automated vehicle safety systems

Automakers have developed automated safety technology that can reduce motor vehicle accidents. Trouble arises, however, when drivers of these modern vehicles in Florida rely on the automated systems too much. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concluded that some drivers stop paying attention to the road because they place too much faith in the automated systems.

Adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping systems tended to increase distractions among drivers. They were prone to letting their guard down and depending too much on the technology. Adaptive cruise control automatically speeds or slows a vehicle in response to the speed of the vehicle in front of it. Lane-keeping systems detect when a vehicle drifts out of its lane and steers the vehicle back into its lane. These systems are meant only to supplement drivers who must continue to monitor traffic.

Researchers determined that drivers who engaged both of these safety systems were almost twice as likely to become distracted compared to people driving without automated assistive technology. They based this conclusion on video surveillance of drivers. The study suggested that automakers improve their education of drivers about how to benefit from safety technology instead of assuming it can drive the vehicle safely.

Technological advances do not change a driver's legal obligation to avoid car accidents whenever possible. A person hurt in an accident caused by an inattentive or reckless driver might have an opportunity to collect damages based on the at-fault driver's negligence. Because serious injuries can limit a victim's ability to collect evidence and navigate an insurance bureaucracy, legal representation may be appropriate. An attorney might evaluate insurance coverage, manage negotiations with an insurance adjuster and document evidence about the accident. Legal support may also enable a victim to file a lawsuit when necessary.

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