Report suggests automatic safety features aren’t perfect

By |2022-01-04T17:08:37+00:00August 10th, 2018|

Especially in a state like California that loves technology, cars that have systems built in which can help drivers do a lot of basic safety tasks, like brake or maintain a steady cruising speed, are all the rage. These vehicles are in theory supposed to help drivers avoid accidents and, as an added bonus, conserve energy by preventing fluctuations in speed and jerky starts and stops.

However, a recent report prepared by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which was covered and summarized by a major media outlet, has suggested that these driver assist systems might not be all they promise.

For one, in some model types, these vehicles collided with a large balloon in their path even though automatic braking was activated and the vehicle was only traveling at about 30 miles per hour. While the vehicles slowed down, they did not stop completely in order to avoid a crash. Interestingly, one vehicle was able to stop when its automatic cruise control was on.

Likewise, all but one model of vehicle failed to stop completely for a car that had stopped in front of it.

The bottom line is that while these electronic features, although certainly very useful, simply aren’t to the point of being perfect, meaning drivers who used them can only rely on them for aid. Vehicles with these features are not self-driving, and a driver has to be available to override them at any point.

As cars get more and more autonomous, there are going to be questions that arise as to whether a victim should file a conventional personal injury suit against a negligent driver or should file a products liability case against the manufacturer of a car that was supposed to work one way but did not do so. Until the technology gets more advanced, though, drivers in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas bear ultimate responsibility to drive safely and avoid accidents.


About the Author:

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Doug Easton has practiced law since 1971. After 20 years of practicing with various large litigation firms, he founded the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton in 1991 as a solo practitioner. In the years that followed, Doug’s sons Brian and Matt joined him in the practice and helped build the firm into a powerful force to help right the wrongs done to their clients. Much of their success over the years has stemmed from the dynamic created by the familial nature of the firm and how harmoniously they all work together, each of their individual strengths complementing and fortifying the group as a whole. Accordingly, the firm changed its name to Easton & Easton, LLP in 2014 to better reflect the true dynamic of the firm and Doug now serves as Managing Partner of Easton & Easton. In 2015, Doug was selected as a Top 100 Litigation Lawyer in California by The American Society of Legal Advocates. In addition, Doug is listed in Strathmore’s Who’s Who, and in 2008 was named its “Professional of the Year” in Medical Malpractice.
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