Study: Advanced car technology may contribute to distracted driving

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — New technology that’s designed to keep you safe on the road, might be having the opposite effect, according to a study from AAA.

Features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and automatic braking are meant to keep you and your passengers safe on the road.

The study findings from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety say, “drivers who owned their vehicles and therefore had more familiarity with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technology — were more likely to drive distracted when these systems were active than when they were not. For example, some observed distracted driving behaviors included texting or adjusting the radio.”

As for those who weren’t familiar with the features? They were more likely to be attentive and engaged while driving. Area drivers say they often see distracted drivers on our major roadways.

Indika Attanayake, a Montgomery County resident, says he sees it “especially during rush hours, on I-270 and MD-355.”

Richard Cook, a Frederick local, said he sees “people looking at their cell phones. They kind of weave in and out of their lane. It’s a hazard.”

Dr. David Yang, an executive director for AAA, says the research suggests long-term use of this technology will cause drivers to become complacent behind the wheel.

Attanayake says drivers should, “just drive safely, think about driving, rather than something else, that’s all.”

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