Most new cars today feature cutting-edge technology designed to help prevent car crashes. Although the purpose of these systems is to keep people safer, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that they may backfire by leading to more distracted driving.
Some of the common safety features incorporated into new cars today include:
- Forward collision alert, which can alert the driver that there is the potential for a possible accident
- Automatic emergency brakes, which applies the brakes immediately if a forward collision is imminent
- Lane departure warning, which alerts drivers if they leave their lane while driving
- Adaptive cruise control, which automatically accelerates or decelerates a car to create a safe driving distance between vehicles
- Backup camera, which lets drivers see what is behind them without having to turn around
These Features Can Become Distracting
According to the AAA study, drivers who used safety features while they were driving became 50 percent more likely to perform secondary tasks—taking their focus off the road. These drivers were more likely to text or talk on their cell phones, engage in conversation with passengers, eat, put on makeup, or fiddle with radio controls because of the false sense of security these safety features provide. This can result in drivers not paying attention to the road conditions or traffic around them—placing them at a much higher risk of being in an accident.
Drivers who were accustomed to these safety features were far more likely to depend on them and were more apt to drive distractedly. Those who were new to these safety features tended not to trust them and were more likely to remain attentive to the task at hand.
How to Know if Distracted Driving Was an Issue in Your Car Accident
If a safety feature contributes to distracted driving that leads to an accident, a thorough investigation into the accident might be able to reveal this. An experienced attorney can help gather the following evidence:
- Police report. Always valuable evidence for any type of car accident injury case, a police report will provide numerous details about the circumstances surrounding the accident as well as the reporting officer’s determination of fault and whether distracted driving may have been at play.
- Cell phone records. Using a cell phone is dangerous while driving, and an attorney can help you access cell phone records to determine whether the driver was talking, texting, or otherwise using a cell phone at the time of the crash.
- Video. Traffic cameras at intersections, on buildings, or on dash cams on other vehicles can help determine the cause of an accident.
- Witnesses. Any pedestrians or other drivers who saw the accident might be able to provide valuable details to help determine the cause of a crash.
- Accident reconstruction. An attorney can hire experts who use physical evidence from the accident scene to reconstruct what might have happened to cause the crash.
By filing a civil lawsuit, injured individuals can hold drivers responsible for their negligence and obtain compensation to pay for the costs associated with the crash. This can include vehicle damage, reimbursement for medical expenses, future medical expenses, and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
How a North Carolina Car Crash Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries caused by a driver who was distracted because of a car safety feature, our car accident attorney can help. Proving fault and dealing with insurance companies is a complicated process, and you need a team that understands how to help you get the most compensation possible. Call our office nearest you or complete our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Brent Adams & Associates.