There have been several recent accidents in Pennsylvania involving cars that have driver-assist features. This is part of a growing trend nationally that has led to regulatory scrutiny of whether these features that are intended to help drivers are actually safe for them. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, driver-assist systems can have the opposite effect by making complacent drivers take their focus off of the road.
The problem with driver-assist systems is that many motorists think that these mechanisms do more than advertised. Some may even confuse driver-assist with self-driving. As a result, drivers take their eyes off the road and their hands from the steering wheel. However, a driver-assist system does not actually drive the car so full attention is required. The systems are just supposed to make it easier for the driver as opposed to doing their work for them.
The IIHS is calling for changes to be made to these systems to require greater driver involvement and engagement. At the very minimum, they should stop working when a driver takes their hands off of the wheel. These systems should also require drivers to have some involvement in the driving process and should disengage on roads where a driver-assist system may not be suitable or safe.
If one has been injured by another driver who had their eyes or attention off the road because they were relying on driver-assist technology, they may be able to recover for their injuries. Failure to focus while driving might be considered negligence, making a driver legally responsible for their actions or inactions. In order to learn more about their legal rights in the event of a car accident, one should consult with a personal injury attorney who might help them file a lawsuit seeking financial compensation for their injuries.