The vast majority of car accidents are caused by some type of human error. This could include the errors that stem from poor choices, such as the decision to drive drunk or distracted. But it also includes honest errors that all drivers can and do make from time to time.

Because human error will always exist, the next step in vehicle safety technology is to implement systems that either automate the driving experience, compensate for common errors, or both. Many newer vehicles these days offer safety features categorized as “active driving assistance systems,” or ADAs. They include features like automatic braking (when nearing a collision risk) and lane-keeping assistance (also known as lane-departure prevention).

While these ADAS sound like they could revolutionize driving safety, a recent study published by AAA shows that they are far less effective and reliable than advertised. The study examined performance over the course of 4,000 miles in real-world driving scenarios, and researchers found that ADAS experienced issues an average of every 8 miles. Problems included:

  • Lane-keeping systems that were less than effective at keeping vehicles in their lane and that would often allow the cars to come too close to other vehicles/guardrails
  • Automatic braking and acceleration ADAs that were prone to disengage with little to no warning, leaving drivers scrambling to take over immediately
  • A common inability to respond to things like stalled vehicles, often resulting in a crash

That these systems don’t work as well as advertised is scary enough. But what compounds the danger is the fact that drivers can be lulled into a false sense of security because of the way these features are hyped by automakers. It is easy to become complacent if you trust that your car will take control in an emergency. If drivers don’t take over quickly enough when their ADAs disengage or fail to work, the result can be an injurious or fatal crash.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident that may have been caused by an automotive defect, you have the right to seek justice in civil court. Please contact our firm today to discuss your legal options with one of our skilled personal injury attorneys.