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Protecting Accident Victims Throughout Western Pennsylvania.

Semi-autonomous cars are making drivers inattentive

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Drivers in Pennsylvania can become inattentive for a number of reasons, but having the driver assistance system engaged may not sound like one of the top reasons. It is a fact, though, that drivers in semi-autonomous vehicles are more inattentive and display slower reaction times, according to the Journal of Safety Research.

This happens because drivers in a vehicle that can adjust the braking and steering automatically are likely to feel safer and more comfortable. With this comes a greater sense of complacency as drivers feel that they can put their mind elsewhere and let the vehicle watch the road for them. The reality is that vehicle technology has not advanced to that point yet; features like lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control still require drivers to have their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road.

It is important to remember just how deadly distracted driving can be. In 2017, a total of 3,166 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. That comes to 8% of all the traffic fatalities that year.

Distracted drivers are not the only issue with semi-autonomous vehicles. The technology itself is still imperfect, being liable to lagging, for example, and liable to miss objects due to faulty cameras and sensors.

Until self-driving cars come out, drivers are responsible for keeping their vehicles under control at all times. When they fail in this and cause car accidents, then they can be held at fault for the other side’s injuries and other losses. It all depends on the insurance policy. Pennsylvania is a “choice no-fault” state, so victims with no-fault insurance can be reimbursed through their own insurance company. Victims may have a lawyer determine if they are eligible to file a third-party insurance claim to be reimbursed for non-monetary damages, too.