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Safety systems increase risk of car accidents, AAA reports

Freedom from human error is one driving ambition behind the increasing automation of cars. Paradoxically, the path to this freedom may actually increase the risk of human error for Philadelphia drivers. Safety systems relying on sensors are among the latest widespread uses of automation technology. A study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers using two of these sensor-reliant systems showed a greater risk of negligence behind the wheel.

Researchers previously found that some touchscreen devices are more distracting to drivers than others, but all contributed to an increased risk of car accidents. Lane assist and adaptive cruise control technologies had the opposite effect on driver safety of that intended. Researchers insisted that the human error, not the safety devices designed to reduce human error, was to blame for the increased risk of crashes.

In theory, sensors would slightly modify the car's speed or gently pull the wheel to correct a problem, and the driver would then take any further corrective action. If drivers remained as focused as they were prior to the technology, this would mitigate the risk of personal injury and property damage in car wrecks. The reality shown by the study was that drivers relied too heavily on the systems, spending more time on touchscreen devices and other distractions.

Conscientious drivers on Philadelphia roads have a harder job than ever watching out for themselves and their passengers while also keeping an eye out for distracted drivers. Even the most vigilant drivers may still suffer the tragedy of serious injury and possibly lifelong complications of spine and brain injury. Victims are often left with many needs, such as obtaining the best medical assistance, paying bills with interrupted income and managing therapy. A car accident attorney may work to obtain the resources that victims need for a successful recovery.

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