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Distracted drivers may come from familiarity with advanced tech

In New York and across the nation, distracted driving is a continuing problem that causes injuries with accidents and fatalities. At first glance, people will associate being a distracted driver with texting and driving and activities with cellphones. However, there are other factors that can lead to drivers being distracted. Ironically, one that is becoming more prevalent might be technology designed to make driving safer. When collisions have happened, this can be an important part of pursuing compensation in a legal filing.

According to a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, technology that is increasingly common, like adaptive cruise control and lane assist, are leading to distractions for drivers. Since these advancements are standard in many newer vehicles, it is a concern. If the driver is familiar with these advancements, known as "advanced driver assistant systems (ADAS)," they tend to be complacent and place too great an emphasis on the system. Those who know how to use them have twice the chance to be distracted behind the wheel than those who are unfamiliar with them.

Researchers assessed how two groups of drivers behaved when using ADAS. One group was driving their personal vehicles with ADAS and knew how to use it. The second was unfamiliar with ADAS, but had been given a vehicle with it installed and drove it for four weeks. Drivers who knew the systems had an 80% higher chance of being distracted. That included texting or changing the sound system. The key for drivers to engage in distracting activities was experience and knowledge using ADAS. This gave them a greater sense of security that the vehicle would correct itself if there was lane drifting or driving too close to vehicles ahead.

The study suggests that drivers who have these advancements installed in their vehicles should still pay strict attention to the road. Since the technology is not yet perfected, failures and mistakes can occur. After an accident, when distracted driving might have been a cause, it is essential to remember that cellphone distractions are not the only cause of distracted driving motor vehicle accidents.

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 347-286-1937
Fax: 718-447-9908
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