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Automated systems may fail to prevent crashes

Many drivers in Wisconsin are enthusiastic about the potential of autonomous and semiautonomous driving cars. While advancing technology could lead to a future of self-driving cars, current electronic systems provide assistance to drivers as they navigate the roads. These systems are meant to make driving easier and safer not only for the vehicle's operator but for everyone else sharing the road. However, these technologies are limited, and if drivers don't pay attention to the road, a catastrophe could result.

One study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety highlights the realities of these technologies. Researchers tested five market-leading systems from Tesla, Volvo, Mercedes and BMW on both public roads and a closed track. They reported that the technologies can be helpful in improving safety and preventing car accidents as well as save lives. At the same time, drivers have a responsibility to be engaged, involved and aware since negligent or distracted driving could easily lead to a devastating crash. The systems are not so advanced that drivers can rely on them to brake successfully for stopped cars or other obstacles on the road.

While the owner's manuals for the vehicles fitted with these systems warn drivers to pay attention to the road and remain in control of the car, many people simply set these systems and pay far less attention than they would otherwise. However, during testing, the cars regularly failed to center properly in lanes or even stop for parked vehicles.

When drivers are negligent and don't pay attention to the road, other people could be severely injured or even killed in a motor vehicle accident. People who have been injured in a crash as a result of someone else's dangerous driving can work with a personal injury attorney to seek compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.

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