Self-driving cars may not be a regular sight on Texas roads yet, but car manufacturers are automating more and more vehicle systems. As the world transitions to fully autonomous vehicles, drivers are beginning to overestimate the capabilities of the autonomous technologies in their cars. A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers with safety technologies in their cars such as lane-keeping assist are more likely to engage in distracted driving habits.

photo of the inside of a car with computer screen and technology
Person driving a new electric vehicle from inside

The AAA study looked at driving footage involving a range of car models equipped with 30 different infotainment systems. According to researchers, all of the infotainment systems caused the drivers to be distracted to some degree. Drivers who were not as familiar with the vehicle systems were less distracted than drivers who had more experience using the systems. Two of the driving systems tested were found to make drivers almost twice as likely to be distracted as drivers who did not use them.

Technologies like adaptive cruise control are supposed to prevent accidents, but they are not meant to replace a human driver. While using autonomous technologies, drivers are still supposed to keep their hands on the wheel and stay alert. A spokesperson for AAA said that the study indicates that many drivers are using safety systems incorrectly, though the systems themselves are not inherently dangerous.

A driver who crashes their car while using an autonomous safety technology may still be liable for the accident. In some motor vehicle accidents, a vehicle manufacturer could have partial liability due to malfunctioning safety technology. A lawyer might be able to help a car accident victim to file a claim for compensation in an accident involving a self-driving or partially-autonomous vehicle.