Study: Advanced car technology may contribute to distracted driving

Traffic

TAMPA, Fla. (WDVM/WFLA) – New technology that’s designed to keep you safe on the road, might be having the opposite effect, according to a study from AAA.

Features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and automatic braking are meant to keep you and your passengers safe on the road.

The study findings from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety say, “drivers who owned their vehicles — and therefore had more familiarity with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technology — were more likely to drive distracted when these systems were active than when they were not. For example, some observed distracted driving behaviors included texting or adjusting the radio.”

As for those who weren’t familiar with the features? They were more likely to be attentive and engaged while driving.

“Advanced driver assistance technologies have a lot to offer in terms of comfort and safety, but they should never replace an attentive and engaged driver,” said AAA spokesman, Mark Jenkins. “Remember, technology fails us daily while at work and at home. So, don’t get caught driving distracted when being focused on the road can save your life.”

Dr. David Yang, an executive director for AAA, says the research suggests long-term use of this technology will cause drivers to become complacent behind the wheel.

To help combat complacency, AAA has offered three simple steps for how to ACE your next vehicle rental or purchase:

  • Always remain active and engaged when using ADAS technologies like lane-keep assist or adaptive cruise control.
  • Commit to knowing what ADAS technologies are installed on your vehicle and how they work.
  • Expect that the advanced driver assistance technologies in your vehicle have limitations.

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