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Drivers may be overestimating car safety tech, says AAA

Nevada drivers with safety tech like blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control may want to ask themselves if they are relying too much on these features. According to a report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, many do not understand the limitations of their car safety tech and thus put a dangerous amount of trust in it.

This leads to risky driving behaviors. For example, 80 percent of study respondents with blind-spot monitoring overestimate its ability to detect fast-approaching vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians, and 20 percent never look for oncoming vehicles when changing lanes. Nearly 30 percent of those with adaptive cruise control say that when this safety feature is on, they engage in other activities -- in other words, driving distracted.

Then there are those who do not know the difference between forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking. This amounted to more than 40 percent of respondents. AAA emphasizes that driver assistance systems can cut down on car crashes by 40 percent and crash fatalities by 30 percent; however, overreliance on them will backfire.

The report mentions how dealers, automobile makers and car-rental companies might not be educating customers on the limitations of these features. It also points out that the way they are marketed can mislead buyers. If the trend is not addressed, many drivers may find it difficult to adapt to semi-autonomous vehicles.

A car accident victim may find out that the at-fault party was relying too much on safety tech. In such a case, they could file a claim for damages. A lawyer may hire investigators to obtain a copy of the police report in addition to other evidence. Legal counsel could then negotiate with the auto insurance company for a settlement out of court.

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