Every new year witnesses increasingly high-tech vehicles with more safety features to help save drivers (and others on the road) from consequences of their own potential for errors and negligence. While there’s no doubt that all of these advanced safety features help prevent collisions and save lives, they also result in increased complacency for drivers, which can be very dangerous.
For example, drivers often don’t feel the need to look over their shoulder as they back up when they have a back-up camera that seemingly can spot anything behind them and even tell them when they’re dangerously close to backing into another vehicle. Rearview mirrors that blink or otherwise alert drivers when there’s a vehicle in their blind spot also reduce a driver’s tendency to look over their shoulder. Emergency braking systems (EBS) can help a car slow down if a driver doesn’t appear to notice a vehicle in front of them. However, an EBS is no substitute for maintaining an adequate following distance.
Don’t assume that everyone has the same features as you do – or that yours will always work
What can be just as dangerous as relying on these features in a motorist’s own vehicle is assuming that everyone else has them too. Drivers should never assume that the car in the next lane sees them coming up alongside them and therefore won’t change lanes unexpectedly. If you’re driving through a parking lot, don’t assume that every car you pass has an alert that lets them know that something or someone is behind them. Assumptions like these can result in collisions.
Because advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) rely on sensors in and around a vehicle, they can be affected by things like rain, mud and debris on the vehicle and/or the road. That means when conditions are at their worst, the technology that drivers rely on may be at its least reliable.
While there’s no doubt that having ADAS features on your vehicle can help you to more effectively avoid collisions, using “old school” safety measures like looking around you is still crucial. If you’ve been injured in a crash with a driver who wasn’t as safety conscious as you, don’t settle for less compensation than you’re entitled to in order to cover medical expenses and other costs and damages. If someone else has caused you harm, you deserve to have your losses covered, period.