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AAA Foundation on how car safety tech can distract drivers

Drivers in New York may own a car with the latest safety features like lane-keeping assist, which helps prevent lane drifting, and adaptive cruise control, which accelerates and decelerates without driver input to maintain a good distance from the vehicle in front. Drivers should know, however, that these features are linked to a greater risk of distracted driving. This is according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

For their study, researchers analyzed the safety features on a number of vehicles, including the Tesla Model S, Acura MDX, Jeep Cherokee, Hyundai Sonata and Honda Accord. They pointed to the two safety features mentioned above as being a problem for many drivers who do not understand the limits of such tech. These drivers are unaware of that they must still keep their hands on the wheel and be alert when such features are on.

Strangely enough, the study found that drivers who were less familiar with the technology and what it did were less likely to drive distracted. Automakers, then, should put more effort into educating car owners so that no one overestimates the features' abilities. The features cannot make sophisticated decisions for drivers; they are still far from fulfilling the ideals that have been attached to self-driving cars.

Drivers must remain attentive at all times. Whether they take their hands off the wheel because of an incoming phone call or because they feel safe with the adaptive cruise control on, they will be to blame for any motor vehicle accidents that arise. Of course, the other side may have contributed to the crash. In New York, the courts determine of each party's fault. The success or failure of a claim largely depends on this part, so victims may want to hire a lawyer for help.

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