Unfortunately, distracted driving crashes are not a rare occurrence in New Jersey. While smartphones are a major part of the problem, there are actually many factors that can cause distraction. According to a December 2019 report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, even those vehicle systems meant to protect drivers are indirectly causing inattention. The report pinpoints two systems: adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

Drivers overestimate safety features

Adaptive cruise control causes the car to accelerate and decelerate automatically to maintain a safe following distance. Lane-keeping assist tugs at the steering wheel when it senses the car drifting from its lane.

Both systems still require drivers to stay alert and keep their hands on the steering wheel. However, many think the features make cars virtually self-driving. The AAA study found that motorists were twice as likely to become distracted when these features were engaged.

Automakers must educate drivers

A 2017 study from AAA came up with similar results, only it was with touch-screen systems in newer vehicles. Whatever the feature is, though, automakers have the duty to educate drivers about its limitations. The vehicles analyzed in this 2019 study included the Tesla Model S, Honda Accord, Jeep Cherokee and Hyundai Sonata.

A lawyer for advice and guidance

New Jersey residents who are injured in car accidents file with their own insurance companies first. It is only in cases of serious injuries or disabilities that one can pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance carrier. Of course, seeking a fair amount in damages is another matter and can be very difficult, especially if one is not a native English speaker. This is just one reason why hiring a lawyer may be advisable.