Driver Assist Systems are Making Us Less Safe

Driver Assist Systems are Making Us Less Safe, According to a Study

Study reveals that drivers have become overreliant on advanced driver assist systems, paying little attention to the road ahead.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab partook in research to study how drivers approach driver-assist systems.

They reviewed the driving habits of 20 Massachusetts-based volunteers for over a month. As drivers became more experienced with driver assistance features, researchers noticed that their concentration started to waver. Drivers began to rely on automation so much they even took hands off the wheel to engage with smartphones or infotainment systems.

The researchers split the 20 volunteers into two groups — the first group drove a Range Rover Evoque with adaptive cruise control (ACC), and the second, a Volvo S90 with both ACC and Pilot Assist.

ACC only limits drive speed and follows the vehicle ahead, while Pilot Assist provides lane-keeping assistance.

IIHS Senior Research Scientist Ian Reagan commented, “Drivers were more than twice as likely to show signs of disengagement after a month of using Pilot assist compared with the beginning of the study.”

The study also noted that drivers only using ACC were less likely to lose focus than those using both.

“Crash investigators have identified driver disengagement as a major factor in every probe of fatal crashes involving partial automation we’ve seen,” adds Reagan

ADAS are developed to make motor travel safe and do not showcase complete automation. Even with full automation, such as self-driving cars, unpredictable things always happen. Therefore, drivers must always stay alert and benefit from these features instead of depending on them.

Full IIHS press release

About Aditya Dinesh

Aditya Dinesh
Aditya Dinesh is a young, passion-driven business student on the outside and a journalist/auto enthusiast on the inside. He is recognized for his leadership skills and values practical knowledge above all. He hails from a family of grease monkeys and takes pride in his work. He also loves dogs, and you can always find him tinkering his motorbike.

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