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Safety advancements could lead to being a distracted driver

Distracted driving is a continuing problem in Nevada and across the nation. While most will equate being distracted behind the wheel to the overwhelming use of cellphones, there are other ways in which a driver can be distracted.

A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that in-vehicle systems designed to enhance safety can actually put drivers at risk. Drivers tend to be less vigilant because of technology meant to help them maintain their lane.

Also risky is adaptive cruise control. This lack of attention can result in an auto accident. If these innovations are used as they are designed, people will generally be safer. However, drivers frequently place too much faith in them, placing them in jeopardy of a crash.

With adaptive cruise control, the vehicle will stay a reasonable distance away from other vehicles with automatic acceleration or reduction in speed as needed. The driver does not need to do anything for it to work. The lane-assist technology will turn the wheel if it is drifting into other lanes.

While this takes some responsibility away from the driver, the driver must remain aware of their surroundings and operate the vehicle. With this technology, the chance of a distracted driver is nearly doubled compared to drivers who are not driving a vehicle with these advancements.

Ironically, drivers who are unfamiliar with these systems are less prone to be distracted. This is not to suggest that the systems are dangerous, but it indicates that drivers could be lulled into a false sense of security, causing an accident.

Distracted driving is not limited to a cellphone, talking to passengers, eating, changing the dial on the radio and other attempts at multitasking.

When distracted driving results in car accidents, people might face drastic life changes including long-term injuries, medical expenses, the inability to work and other problems. Families can lose a loved one. After a crash, it may be wise to have legal advice on how to proceed to take the necessary steps to file a lawsuit.

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