Connecticut drivers want to avoid an accident, so they put their attention on the road. In addition to following the law and driving safely, they don’t commit the egregious distracted driving errors of eating, drinking or texting behind the wheel. However, drivers might find themselves at risk for distractions due to expanded technological automation in vehicles. Unfortunately, even a brief drop in focus could cause an accident.
When automation contributes to dangers on the road
Automation often refers to driving-assistance technology intended to make things safer and easier for a driver. Ironically, the technology may lead to accidents when the driver allows his or her focus to go into a lull. A lane departure warning, for example, sends an alert when a vehicle begins to drift into another lane. The alert could lead the driver to take better control and keep the car inside the lane to avoid an accident.
A blind-spot monitor helps drivers avoid lane change collisions by pointing out a vehicle that may be out of the driver’s line of sight. The driver must physically look at the lane and the vehicle’s mirrors. Changing lanes without looking could prove disastrous.
A warning system’s presence does not take any responsibility off the driver. He or she must remain in safe control of the vehicle at all times. Unfortunately, driver disengagement might increase due to an over-reliance on automation.
A slow trip to losing focus
Research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a partner shows that drivers may gradually drop their focus over time. That is, they might become too comfortable with driver-assistance technology and allow themselves to become distracted. Assumptions that automation will handle safety duties could lead a driver to direct attention elsewhere, which might place them and others at risk.
Drivers who allow themselves to lose focus or “pass the buck” to vehicle automation might end up liable for an accident. They could face lawsuits for any injuries they cause.
Automation technology may contribute to distracted driving and lead to motor vehicle accidents. Anyone injured by a distracted driver might want to file a lawsuit for compensation.