Although the future of self-driving vehicles is a popular topic, advanced technology already exists in cars and trucks. Devices like rear-view cameras help many Pennsylvania drivers each day. However, a recent study suggests that this technology poses a risk to road safety.

The AAA report found that many drivers think in-vehicle technology systems are more effective than they actually are. Some drivers even assume that they can guarantee their safety. While useful, features like blind-spot detection, collision warnings, automatic breaking and even cruise control can – and do – fail.

Unfortunately, when drivers rely on the devices too much, they often neglect safety. For example, one in four drivers who use a blind-spot monitoring feature do not also check blind spots the old-fashioned way to see whether the road is indeed clear. Systems like cruise control may also increase a driver’s chances of allowing themselves to pay attention to their phone or other passengers.

In-vehicle systems do not replace a driver’s legal duty to operate their vehicle safely. Regardless of the car or truck’s features, a driver who causes a crash due to negligence may still be liable for the resulting injuries.

With or without the aid of in-vehicle technology, drivers are still responsible for:

  • Obeying traffic lights, stop signs and other road signs
  • Signaling and visually checking blind spots before turning or changing lanes
  • Slowing down or stopping for pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles or obstructions ahead of their path
  • Keeping their full focus on the road
  • Staying sober and alert

In the future, cars may be advanced enough to safety transport passengers without a driver. However, that day is still distant. No current device can replace a human driver’s attention and critical thinking skills.