Are Vehicle Safety Technologies A Step In The Wrong Direction?

April 1, 2019 | by BMI Staff

In an effort to move toward completely autonomous vehicles, the automotive industry has begun releasing vehicles with unprecedented driver-assist technologies. These advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) include lane-keeping alerts, blind-spot detectors, forward-collision warnings, and automatic emergency braking systems—among others. According to the Insurance Journal, between 2009 and 2015, vehicles that included the lane-keeping safety feature “lowered rates of…sideswipe, and head-on crashes…by 11 percent” (Lowy, 2017). Lane departure is responsible for roughly 25% of traffic fatalities, making this marked decrease a strong argument in favor of this new technology.  

While ADAS has proven to be successful in keeping drivers within the lines, many reports of misunderstanding and over-reliance have caused experts to speak out about the damaging impacts of these features. A study released by AAA Public Relations Manager, Tamra Johnson, affirms this theory; she states that “nearly 40 percent of drivers [surveyed by AAA] did not know the system’s limitations or confused the technologies” (2018). When drivers do not know the limitations of their vehicles, over-reliance is more likely to occur. The more autonomous a car becomes, the more disengaged a driver will be. Until reaching an era of 100% autonomy, a vehicle is unable to assume sole responsibility for itself—a concept not yet grasped by many ADAS-equipped drivers. 

With the widespread lack of education surrounding the limits of ADAS, the solution is education. Before getting behind the wheel of a ground-breaking piece of technology, learn everything you can about it. After all, you chose a vehicle based on its advanced safety features. Now it’s time to put them to use. Take a look at the following chart for an overview of the most common ADAS capabilities and limitations.

ADAS Printable


  1. Drivers Rely Too Heavily on New Vehicle Safety Technologies In Spite of Limitations. (2018, November 06). Retrieved from 
  2. Studies Show Automated Car Safety Technologies Are Preventing Crashes. (2017, August 25). Retrieved from