In recent years, new cars have been equipped with safety technology to help protect drivers on the road. Many drivers have adopted a learn-as-you-go strategy when using these new features. However, research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that this strategy doesn’t help drivers understand the technologies, placing them at risk of misusing the tools and causing a car accident.
To use these safety features as effectively as possible, drivers need training on how it works and when to rely on its functions. Proper training can help you prevent a car collision and help your case if you are involved in an injury accident.
The Advent of Vehicle Safety Technology
Many new cars are built with safety technology to help drivers avoid collisions. These technologies include:
- Front-crash prevention systems. These systems detect cars ahead of the vehicle and cause them to break automatically.
- Rear backup cameras and rear cross-traffic assistance. These features detect people or objects behind the car and warn the driver. Backup cameras are federally mandated for vehicles made after 2018.
- Blind-spot assistance. This tool senses cars in the vehicle’s blind spots and alerts the driver if they try to change lanes.
- Lane-keeping assistance. This technology warns the driver or corrects course if the car drifts out of its lane.
- Automated cruise control. This feature adjusts the car’s speed in cruise control depending on the speed and proximity of nearby traffic.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that vehicle safety technology often successfully prevents car accidents. Front-crash prevention has reduced rear-end and pedestrian collisions by 50% and 27%, respectively.
Despite these benefits, some drivers have gotten overly comfortable with this technology. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that drivers were 50% more likely to drive distractedly by engaging with a secondary task with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist activated. This fact may contribute to an accident if the safety tool malfunctions while you are operating the car.
The Limits of Vehicle Safety Tech
Safety technology has its limits. These features don’t work when the roads are covered by snow or debris. They often don’t work correctly when it’s dark and may not activate at low or high speeds. Even on clear days, they don’t always work as expected. For example, front-crash prevention systems are typically designed to detect cars, pedestrians, and sometimes cyclists, but not objects like traffic cones.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, when drivers received education on how vehicle safety systems worked, they were far less likely to rely on the technology to prevent collisions.
Drivers who weren’t taught about vehicle safety technology adapted to it over time but were often unaware of its limitations. This approach can cause drivers to depend on the safety technology when it doesn’t work, increasing the risk of an accident.
For instance, a driver may back out of their parking space without looking behind them, expecting their car to warn them if something is behind the vehicle. If they collide with a person the car didn’t detect, the injured party can sue the driver for damages, arguing that the driver is liable for failing to look behind them.
Proper training on vehicle safety systems can help you understand how they work and their limitations, reducing your likelihood of an accident due to overreliance on these tools.
Vehicle Safety Tech and Liability
Utah is a no-fault state. This means that if you get into a car accident, neither you nor the other driver is responsible for paying for damages. However, if one party is seriously injured in the accident, they have the right to sue the other party for damages.
Additionally, Utah uses a comparative-negligence doctrine in personal injury suits. This doctrine means that the party filing the lawsuit can’t be more than 50% responsible for what caused the injury, or they can’t collect compensation.
It can be challenging to determine who was at fault in an auto accident involving safety technology. It’s important to seek the help of a qualified injury attorney who can help reduce your liability for the crash and maximize your compensation award.
Contact Great West Injury Law for a Free Consultation
Recovering damages after a car accident can be a long and stressful process. Great West Injury Law is prepared to take on your case if you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Utah.
Our Utah car crash attorneys can determine the percentage of fault for you and the other driver and argue the case in your favor.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation to explore your legal options and get clarification about applicable laws for your case.