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Studies show semi-autonomous cars create distraction

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Every year in Kentucky and the rest of the U.S., distracted drivers are crashing and claiming the lives of innocent people. In 2017, there were 3,166 deaths in distracted driving crashes: 8% of that year’s total traffic fatalities. Automakers have designed systems that can detect driver distraction and then do something about it, such as adjust the steering and braking, but these systems cannot counteract the complacency that many drivers feel in using new tech.

In short, semi-autonomous vehicles may be a source of cognitive distraction. Drivers tend to feel safe in such vehicles, but they may overestimate the vehicle’s abilities and let themselves become inattentive. With this comes impaired judgment and, as the Journal of Safety Research has noted, slower reaction times. Drivers may go so far as to use their phone behind the wheel, trusting in the vehicle to detect any dangers.

Behind all of this is the assumption that computers are quicker to respond than the human brain. One problem, though, is that the computers may experience a lag, presented as they are with massive amounts of data input and possible scenarios during every road situation. This lag may last a couple seconds, which is a long time when traveling at high speeds. Drivers may also be put in danger when the cameras and sensors become faulty.

Those who are injured in a car accident at the hands of a distracted driver may be able to pursue a personal injury case, but it depends on their insurance policy. Kentucky, after all, is a “choice no-fault” state. Victims may be reimbursed for most monetary damages if they file with their own insurance company. These damages typically cover lost wages and up to $10,000 in medical expenses. Whatever route they take, victims may want an attorney to provide guidance.