In New York, many drivers are becoming dangerously complacent because they believe that their advanced driver assistance systems can take over for them behind the wheel. The fact is that all ADAS on the market allow for level two automated driving. Whereas level five allows for fully automated driving, level two requires drivers to operate their vehicles in the same way they always do, or should do: fully engaged and alert to their surroundings.
ADAS include features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and lane departure alert. They can greatly help in preventing accidents on highways and even in parking lots. Yet some automakers are falsely advertising the potential of these systems. For example, it was said that the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class was “self-driving.” Mercedes-Benz had to pull the ad on that because it was misleading.
Yet drivers have a responsibility to do research and understand the limitations of ADAS. A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that few could understand the features on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, even after receiving an orientation on the cluster icons.
Drivers are also misled by names. In a study group of more than 2,000 drivers, nearly half believed that Tesla’s Autopilot program would allow them to drive hands-free. Over 30% thought talking on the phone was possible.
ADAS or no ADAS, phone use behind the wheel is a form of negligence. Any car accident victim who finds out that the other side was distracted or negligent in some other way can rest assured that he or she will have grounds for an injury claim. Filing one is another matter and may require the advice and guidance of an attorney. Victims might have their attorney speak on their behalf at the negotiation table, striving for a fair settlement.