What’s good and bad about driver-assistance systems

Missouri residents who are thinking about installing advanced driver-assistance systems, or ADAS, in their cars will want to consider both the good and the bad. First off, ADAS technology is effective in preventing collisions. Forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert and pedestrian detection, among other features, can predict crashes; if drivers do not respond in time to the warnings, the automatic emergency braking can be activated.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions found that with ADAS vehicles, the rate of property damage claims and bodily injury claims is 19% and 27% lower, respectively. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, looking at blind-spot detection in particular, says that vehicles equipped with it are in 14% fewer crashes than the same vehicles without it.

However, auto insurance companies remain skeptical about the safety benefits of ADAS and seem unwilling, for the most part, to offer discounts to those drivers who install it. Admittedly, the technology is not perfect. One expert notes how ADAS vehicles on an on-ramp can mistakenly think a car in the next lane is coming toward them and thus apply the automatic emergency braking for no reason.

What’s even more dangerous is that drivers sometimes become distracted precisely because the ADAS features are on. The reason has to do with unrealistic expectations of what ADAS can do and a false sense of security.

It would not be surprising, then, for a personal injury claim to involve crash avoidance technology because whether to drive negligently is a choice that individuals make for themselves. Those injured through another’s bad choice may want a lawyer to evaluate their case in light of Missouri’s comparative negligence rule. If a reasonable settlement could be achieved out of court, the lawyer may handle all negotiations to that end, leaving litigation as a last resort.