The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a report out that may interest those in California who own a vehicle with driver-assist technology. More than a few studies have shown that driver-assist systems, which take over functions like accelerating, braking and centering a car in its lane, can inadvertently cause drivers to become inattentive, putting them at risk for a crash.
What the IIHS report focuses on is how to improve these systems so that they can keep drivers both physically and mentally engaged with driving. It should go without saying that driver-assist systems do not make a car self-driving. They do not provide Level Five automation but only Level Two: the highest that any vehicle on the road today can achieve. Better education, then, is one step to averting the danger of inattentive driving.
Next, the safety non-profit gives three recommendations that it believes will improve the systems. Most driver-assist systems continue operating if the driver holds the steering wheel, but more should be done to monitor for distractions.
This is why the first recommendation is to add monitoring devices. Driver-facing cameras would be especially ideal. Second, the IIHS recommends sensors that can record manual adjustments to the steering wheel and measure drivers’ reaction times. Lastly, it says that alarms should be used to alert the inattentive.
Of course, the final choice lies with drivers whether they want to drive distracted or not. When they do drive distracted and cause motor vehicle accidents, they can be held liable by the victims. This means filing a personal injury claim against the guilty driver’s auto insurance company: a complicated process and one that may require legal assistance. Victims may start by having a lawyer evaluate the case and determine how much they could be eligible for in damages.