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Motor vehicle safety tech could lead to new kinds of accidents

Researchers have claimed that some new motor vehicle safety technologies might cause confusion among drivers and lead to more accidents. Drivers in Nevada may have already encountered cars equipped with automatic emergency braking or lane control systems. According to a professor of cognitive sciences, the developments in motor vehicles are parallel to the development of autopilot systems in airplanes. As pilots had to learn how to work with autopilot, so must drivers learn the benefits and limitations of new safety technologies.

Automatic emergency braking systems are set to be standard on new cars nationwide by the year 2022, but research indicates that some drivers overestimate automation's capabilities. According to a survey, 11% of drivers believe they can use their phones or read while a car is being driven automatically. However, the driver should be ready to take command of the vehicle at all times. One area where automation may fail is when the car immediately in front must swerve to avoid another vehicle or something else in the road. Automatic systems may not be able to react in time.

Adaptive cruise control can have problems when the car goes around curves. Educating drivers is part of the solution. Drivers should know, at a minimum, how to determine which systems are operational at any given time and how to turn them off.

When new motor vehicle technologies lead to accidents, injured parties may want to take legal action. People who have been hurt in car accidents may be entitled to compensation for missed wages, medical costs and other damages. A personal injury lawyer might be able to assist in such a case by identifying liable parties or negotiating a settlement with the applicable insurance company.

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