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Will Spending More for Vehicles with Crash Avoidance Systems Put You at Greater Risk?

May 06, 2014

There are an increasing number of technological safety innovations that are intended to reduce the probability that drivers will be involved in auto accidents in Georgia. Many of these safety improvements involve crash avoidance systems designed to warn distracted drivers who are not paying attention to the road that they are at-risk of being involved in a collision. Distracted driving is a growing epidemic that threatens to surpass DUI as the most significant auto accident safety risk. Unfortunately, there is new evidence that some crash warning systems designed to prevent serious injuries and wrongful deaths in car accidents may do more harm than good.

A recent study revealed that high-tech lane departure systems intended to prevent distracted drivers from drifting into adjacent lanes may be causing more auto accidents. These lane departure systems currently available in high-end model vehicles might undermine vehicle occupant safety. The study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reached the surprising conclusion that lane departure warning systems increase the risk of being involved in a collision by ten percent.

The researchers advanced a number of theories to explain the unexpected results of the study. The primary theory was that drivers annoyed by the warning alarms or irritated by the over-sensitivity of the systems in responding to minor side-to-side movement within a lane may simply disable the systems. A similar explanation is that drivers grow indifferent to the constant warnings and disregard the alarms. While this seems like a plausible response from drivers that are frustrated or annoyed by these early warning systems, it seems lacking as an explanation for the higher risk of collision. It would seem that disabling the crash avoidance warning would put drivers in the same position as drivers who had vehicles that were not equipped with this technology. This type of explanation would suggest that the car accident risk should be the same for cars equipped with lane departure technology rather than ten percent higher.

The unexpected results of the study are being dismissed by some as the product of a sample size that is not large enough to be statistically reliable. Even the IIHS has indicated that if all cars were equipped with lane departure systems that were used correctly (i.e. not disabled or ignored), the result would be over 7,500 fewer fatal auto accidents annually. Despite this poor showing for lane departure warning systems, crash avoidance systems that warn drivers that they are about to collide with the vehicle immediately in front of them and apply the brakes to avoid such a collision performed much better.

While this technology may still need tweaking, technology that relies on cameras, sensors, radar and computer technology potentially represents a new era in traffic safety. Most existing vehicle safety technology, such as airbags, lap belts and shoulder harnesses focus entirely on reducing the severity of injuries when Georgia car accidents occur. This new paradigm in traffic safety is intended to not only reduce injury severity and fatalities, but prevent collisions from even occurring.

If you are injuured or someone you love is injured or a loved one dies in a Georgia car accident, contact our experienced Atlanta auto accident attorneys for a free consultation to learn about your legal rights, and how we can to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.