Study Shows Drivers Unaware of Limitation with Active Safety Tech and Trust it too Much

The American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety performed a study in September that found many drivers that had vehicles using advanced driver-assist technology found them to be trustworthy and helpful. However, most drivers failed to understand that the system has limitations.

The study focused on owners of 2016-2017 model-year cars and trucks with a combination of one or more driver-assistance technologies, including:
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Forward-Collision Warnings
  • Active Lane Control
  • Lane-Departure Warnings
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alerts
  • Blind-Spot Monitors

The Results

More than two-thirds of the owners reported that they trusted the technology. Approximately three out of four responded that the technology was useful. Likewise, over seven out of ten owners claimed that they want such technology (or better technology) on their next newly purchased vehicle. They also say they’d recommend the vehicle to others.


Despite having favorable views, only about 21 percent of the owners surveyed that had blind-spot monitoring technology knew of the system’s limitations. Such limitations include the inability to detect passing vehicles at high speeds. Approximately 33 percent of owners with vehicles that offered automatic emergency braking didn’t know that the system used cameras or sensors, which could become obstructed by snow or dirt.

Furthermore, almost one-third of respondents reported that they performed other activities while using active cruise control, backing up when using rear cross-traffic alerts without checking behind them physically, or using blind-spot monitoring without actually checking the blind spot.

Because these technologies are becoming standard options on newer vehicles, more drivers are likely to become familiar with and over-reliant on them. Therefore, it’s essential that drivers are aware of the limitations.


Study Shows Drivers Unaware of Limitation with Active Safety Tech and Trust it too Much

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