Automobile manufacturers and advertising agencies tout robotic driving assistance technologies like brake assist, lane deviation correction and blind spot alarms as a way to prevent countless accidents and save lives. This type of tech features heavily in television advertisements, magazine layouts, industry graphics and in radio ads as a huge selling point for new vehicles.
Most people, when shopping for a new car, focus in on these and other flashy safety features. The assumption is that a vehicle incorporating them must be a better buy because it will prove safer overall. After all, safety improvements were key to lowering the overall rate of automobile accident injuries and fatalities from their all-time high in the 1980s and 1990s. Advancements like integrated seat belts with lap and shoulder restraints, airbags, crumple zones and reinforced glass have saved countless lives.
The industry conundrum
Some experts see this technology as a double-edged sword. It can be beneficial in many cases, but it also gives drivers a false sense of security and confidence in their driving abilities. When drivers become too reliant on their vehicles to prevent accidents, they can "zone out," or focus on other things (electronic devices, passenger conversations, grooming, eating or drinking, for example) instead of paying attention to the road. Simply put, these activities contribute to car accidents.
These features should supplement a driver's reactions and abilities, but many drivers are now relying solely on them. Such reliance leads drivers to pay insufficient attention to blind spots, not maintain a safe following distance and fail to keep the vehicle within the proper lane. Some automobile safety experts are now proposing phasing out such technology because of the negative implications of it. For now, these are still selling points and are incorporated into nearly every new vehicle.
Only time will tell if the detrimental effect on driving abilities outweighs the benefits of this technology, or if it actually causes accidents instead of preventing them. If you or someone you love was hurt in a car accident, tech like this could have been a contributing factor. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about attributing legal fault and recovering compensation for your injuries.