Often, distracted drivers are unaware they are distracted. Many people believe they can safely multitask, or they may become too comfortable with certain features in their vehicles that could be dangerous to use while driving. More vehicles now come with enhanced infotainment systems and automation, things that could actually contribute to a higher accident rate.
Many of the automatic features in newer vehicles come with the intention of increasing driver safety. In some respects, these vehicles are safer, but certain types of features can actually take a driver’s attention from the task at hand. The more comfortable a driver becomes with using automatic features, the more likely he or she may be to become distracted by it.
Potentially dangerous features
Drivers who are engaging with features in their vehicles may take one or two hands off the wheel. A recent study looked at driver engagement and vehicle automation features, and the results concluded the following:
- Drivers who use driver assist features were twice as likely to show signs of disengagement while driving after using the feature for a month.
- These drivers were 12 times more likely to take their hands off the wheel after becoming comfortable with lane-centering features.
- When using automation, drivers are much more likely to let their focus slip and do other things while operating a vehicle.
The intent of automation features is not to replace the driver. Even in the most technologically advanced vehicles, drivers are still responsible for paying attention. Each person is accountable for the choices made while driving, especially if those choices result in accidents that leave innocent people injured.
Help for victims
Distracted driving comes in many forms, and it doesn’t always involve a phone. Some of the features designed to make driving an easier and more entertaining experience can also lead to distraction. Safety features aren’t truly safe if they are causing drivers to become comfortable with reckless behaviors behind the wheel.
If you are the victim of an accident caused by a distracted driver, you could have legal options available to you. It may be possible to hold the liable party accountable through a personal injury claim. The New Jersey civil justice system provides you the opportunity to pursue compensation for your financial losses and non-economic damages experienced as a result of the negligent or reckless actions of another party.