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AAA study finds drivers overestimate car safety features

Georgia residents who own vehicles with advanced safety features like blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking should be aware of their key limitations. Many do not, as the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found out in a recent study, and they are relying too heavily on such features as a result.

For example, nearly 29 percent of drivers with adaptive cruise control say they feel comfortable doing other things behind the wheel when it is engaged: in other words, driving distracted. About 80 percent of drivers are overconfident in the ability of blind-spot monitoring to detect approaching vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. According to reports, 25 percent never check for oncoming vehicles when changing lanes.

Lastly, few drivers with forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking know the difference between the two. About one third do not realize that automatic emergency braking relies on cameras and sensors, the effectiveness of which can be compromised by snow and dirt buildup.

The results raise concerns about whether drivers can safely adapt to a future of semi-autonomous vehicles, which require a certain level of alertness from drivers. The accident in Arizona involving an Uber vehicle and a pedestrian, who was killed while crossing the street, is just one example of what happens when safety tech makes drivers complacent.

In the wake of a car wreck, victims will want to know just how the other driver was negligent. Under Georgia's comparative negligence rule, victims can file a claim even if they themselves were partly to blame. A lawyer, during a case evaluation, may determine if victims have good grounds for a claim. He or she might then hire third parties like medical experts and accident investigators to build up evidence. Victims may then have their lawyer negotiate with the other driver's auto insurance company for a fair settlement.

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