Report: Drivers Put Too Much Trust in Safety Assist Features

September 26, 2018 at 1:11 AM

U.S. drivers like advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), but a new report says they often overestimate what such features can do.

In the case of blind-spot monitors, for example, about 80% of users wrongly assume the system can detect cyclists, pedestrians and rapidly approaching vehicles, says the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. New research by the center concludes that drivers need more training.

The research, which involves drivers of late-model cars, points to similar misperceptions about forward collision warning and automatic braking systems. About 40% of drivers polled don’t know the difference between the two. The key distinction: Collision warning systems alert the driver about the need to brake but don’t apply the brakes themselves.

AAA also reports a growing reliance on sensor systems as a substitute for checking traffic themselves. The study says 25% of users of blind-spot traffic and rear cross traffic alerts simply rely on the technology to keep them out of trouble.

The same proportion of drivers whose vehicles have lane departure warning systems admit they are comfortable taking their eyes off the road to perform other tasks until the system alerts them to look up.