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Could Auto Safety Technology Turn Us Into Reckless Drivers?

According to some experts, auto safety technology has been developed in order to make drivers, pedestrians and other passengers safe by avoiding collisions and keeping drivers in check while operating a motor vehicle, however, some critics suggest that certain safety technologies may end up promoting more reckless behavior than actually keeping drivers safe.

Reports show that certain studies have indicated that when drivers allow the vehicle to take over, they tend to pay less attention to the road ahead. Drivers are no longer depending only on cruise control, but also on a series of new technologies that make semi-flawless computer controls available to most of us. Automakers are developing a series of devices and features that would allow the driver to simply stop paying attention and set their thoughts and attention elsewhere and that, according to some critics, could be a hazard.

Rear-view cameras, sensors, electronic stability control and other emergency features like brake assists are being added to new models, making vehicles much more efficient and intelligent while allowing drivers to lose stimulus over what is going on around their vehicles.

Some safety advocates argue that boredom may lead drivers to lose track of what’s happening in a way that could eventually turn into a hazard. Studies show that while too much stimuli may overwhelm and stress the driver, too little may do harm by sending drivers to sleep.

Some also argue that even automatic transmissions may make drivers less attentive and focused. Technology is often developed to make drivers, passengers and pedestrians safer but what happens when those who are at command start to lose focus and end up making worse mistakes due to the increased efficiency of such technologies? According to some safety advocates, a recent study in China showed that after the country banned the use of cellphones while behind the wheel, the overall number of auto accidents did not decrease. Some studies were carried out and agents found that drivers who tend to drive recklessly will do so in spite of the ban, which may have been the factor behind the lack of fluctuation in the number of auto accidents in the country.

Some argue that, cell phone usage is a symptom of distracted driving and that drivers will continue to be distracted whether it happens with a phone, during a conversation with a passenger or while attempting to tune in to a particular radio station.

Hopefully, automakers will be able to address the issue to make the safety technologies more reliable than ever.

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About the Author
The Vachon Law Firm is based in Southern California and focuses exclusively on consumer protection litigation.