Most people seem to accept that motor vehicle accidents can and do happen, almost to the point of assuming there is no foolproof way to avoid these events. However, the importance of saving lives propels many individuals and companies to push ahead in developing features in vehicles designed to reduce accidents or limit the severity of injury to people when accidents do occur.

The effectiveness of these technologies may well be less than many people wish and the reasons for this vary.

Technology limitations

In some situations, the plain and simple reality is that the ability of technology to truly prevent an accident may be rather limited. According to The Verge, AAA conducted a series of tests using vehicles equipped with systems to detect pedestrians in the vehicles’ paths and then to automatically stop the vehicles prior to hitting the pedestrians.

Lasers, sensors and other technologies power these advanced safety features in vehicles but clearly have a long way to go before being fully functional in all driving situations. In the best test scenario, pedestrian dummies were hit by vehicles 60% of the time. These scenarios included the vehicles driving only 30 miles per hour in clear, daylight conditions.

Poor driver choices

Another set of research uncovered another sad reality. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that drivers in vehicles with lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control features were 80% more likely to choose to engage in activities causing visual distractions or manual distractions. The trust put into safety technologies may well contribute to drivers choosing to engage in more distracting behaviors.