According to an online accident news report published on, researchers at AAA released a study that shows how rain can negatively affect the performance of vehicle safety systems.

AAA’s research team conducted automatic emergency braking tests in simulated rainfall at a closed road course. The test demonstrated that automatic emergency braking-equipped vehicles moving at 35 MPH during the rain rear-ended stopped vehicles around 33% of the time. AAA’s safety study also discovered that other vehicle safety features were also negatively affected during the rainfall tests.

AAA’s study tested other safety technology, including lane-keeping assistance. The AAA report says that lane-keeping safety features failed 69% of the time when tested in simulated rainfall. The study researchers stated that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are frequently tested in ideal conditions. AAA believes that testing standards should include real-world conditions that drivers will encounter while driving.

Another problem with some Advanced Driver Assistance Systems is their dependence on cameras and sensors to “visualize” cars, pedestrians, street markings, and other road obstacles.

AAA investigators also stimulated other environmental conditions, including dust, dirt, and bug impacts. The AAA test results showed that Automatic Emergency Braking Systems failed about 17% of the time. When the test vehicles’ speeds were increased to 35 MPH from 25 MPH, rear-end collisions occurred 33% of the time, and lane-keeping assist systems failed about 70% of the time.

The AAA researchers only witnessed minor performance issues with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems when simulating a dirty windshield. This is because dirty windshields impact Advanced Driver Assistance System cameras. AAA is urging drivers to keep their windshield clean when driving.

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