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Can I still get in an accident with a crash warning system?

Crash prevention technology is the newest step forward in car safety. Although seat belts and airbags help protect you in the event of an accident, crash warning systems aim to avoid a collision altogether, keeping you and other Kentucky drivers safe.

If you recently purchased a new vehicle, it probably features at least one crash warning system. You may even feel safer knowing that a lot of other vehicles on the road also have crash prevention technology. However, for as prevalent as these systems are, they may not be as effective as you think.

Do warning systems help drivers focus?

There are a hundred tiny distractions inside of your car. From the radio to passengers to your smart phone, keeping your eyes on the road is not always easy. Nevertheless, since you are a safe driver, you minimize those distractions and keep your cell phone out-of-reach. Other drivers, though, are not so careful.

Researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hypothesized that crash warning systems that alert drivers to imminent collisions would ultimately force them to ignore distractions. The idea makes sense -- if they are looking at their phone and their vehicle's warning system alerts them to a possible crash, they will realize what they are doing and put their phone away. This is unfortunately not the case.

Technology does not change driving behavior

An analysis of two different studies concluded that crash warning systems do not encourage drivers to behave better. The first of the two studies observed how 108 people drove with warning systems after first driving without them. The second observed 40 teenage drivers, only half of whom received warning systems in their vehicles.

Drivers from both groups who had the warning system continued to engage in secondary behaviors about 46 percent of the time. Distracted behavior was more pronounced among teenage drivers, who engaged in other activities 57 percent of the time. This was observed only 39 percent of the time for drivers between the ages of 60 and 70 years old. Such behaviors include:

  • Talking on the phone
  • Texting
  • Speaking with passengers
  • Personal grooming

You can still get hurt

Even if this technology does not alter behavior behind the wheel, it still alerts distracted drivers to potential collisions, giving them the opportunity to take necessary action. However, this technology is not perfect, and drivers will not always have enough time to react.

Your injuries may be severe if a distracted driver hurt you. The physical and financial toll of these types of injuries can be difficult if not impossible to bear on your own. In Kentucky, victims who were hurt in a car accident can seek financial compensation for their damages, which may include medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

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Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold

225 West Irvine Street
Richmond, KY 40475

Toll Free: 800-494-9916
Phone: 859-353-0878
Fax: 859-623-6406
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P.O. Box 157
Richmond, KY 40476