The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has come out with a report expressing concerns about advanced driver-assistance systems. Drivers in Ohio may be familiar with ADAS as their own vehicles may be equipped with such technology. These systems assist a driver by controlling certain driving functions. Their features include lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.
Unfortunately, the more sophisticated these systems become, the more drivers tend to think that they don’t have to pay attention to the road. Vehicles with ADAS create a false sense of security and indirectly cause many accidents. In March 2018, for example, the driver of a Tesla Model X was traveling with Autopilot engaged when he was involved in a fatal crash; investigators found that he was playing a mobile game prior to the crash.
Automakers may not be educating consumers about the limitations of ADAS. The IIHS reports that many ADAS do not actively monitor for driver inattention but continue operating so long as there is steering wheel input. The report gives recommendations that may help improve safety. The first is to install in-car cameras and other methods for detecting inattention. The second is to install sensors that capture drivers’ adjustments of the steering wheel and measure their reaction times. Then, alarms could be used to alert the inattentive.
When auto accidents arise because a driver was distracted, the victims may be able to seek compensation under personal injury law. In this state, plaintiffs can recover damages as long as they were deemed 50% or less at fault, but any degree of contributory negligence will, of course, lower whatever amount they do recover. To ensure a fair settlement, victims may want legal assistance. The lawyer might hire investigators to gather proof of the defendant’s negligence.