Georgia drivers may have features like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist in their vehicles, in which case they need to know the safety risk they can pose. Studies have shown how many people become complacent with their driver-assist systems, thinking that they can pay less attention to the road when the systems are engaged. The reality is that driver-assist systems, as their name implies, do not replace drivers.
The result of this over-reliance on technology and inattention can be an increase in crashes, injuries and deaths. In March 2018, the driver of a Tesla Model X engaged Autopilot and was later killed in a crash. Afterwards, he was found to have been playing a mobile game behind the wheel. Autopilot could not detect the distracted behavior because, like many driver-assist tech, it only requires the driver to hold the steering wheel to continue operating.
This is where a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety can provide some helpful tips. The IIHS has issued three recommendations: that driver-assist systems come with driver-facing cameras and other methods of detecting distraction; that they have sensors to pick up adjustments made to the steering wheel, thus measuring drivers’ reaction times; and that they set off alarms when it’s clear a driver is distracted.
With or without these improvements, though, driver-assist systems do not take away drivers’ responsibility to keep the car under control. When drivers neglect this duty through phone use or eating or simple daydreaming, they could be held liable for any car crashes that occur. Those who are injured might pursue a personal injury case, and it may be wise to let a lawyer evaluate it and negotiate on their behalf.