In New Mexico and throughout the country, there have been a number of accidents recently involving cars that were using driver-assist technologies. This is part of a nationwide trend as the design of these systems encourages drivers to engage in other activities when behind the wheel. Now, the federal government and Congress are investigating the safety of these systems further.
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, driver-assist systems may actually do too much for drivers. This results in a perception that a car is self-driving when it actually requires the driver’s full attention when operating the vehicle. Many of these systems can even work when the driver takes their hands off the wheel, which encourages distracted driving in the name of driver convenience.
The IIHS has expressed its preference for driver-assist systems that help the driver at the same time that the vehicle operator is fully engaged. The organization recommends stronger safeguards that prevent distracted driving by technology that was intended to make it easier for the driver. Some of these systems are designed to keep drivers from participating in certain acts, such as changing lanes. The problem is that many drivers end up with a perception that driver-assist really means self-driving and then take their eyes and mind off the road. This ends up in numerous accidents that could otherwise have been avoided.
When a driver takes their eyes off the road, even with driver-assist technology, they may be deemed negligent by a court. This might mean that they are financially responsible if they cause injuries to another driver or if they strike a pedestrian. If a person has been hurt in a car accident under these circumstances, they may wish to consult an attorney so that they can receive financial compensation for their injuries.