An improved safety measure meant to reduce speeding may be doing just the opposite and encouraging some drivers to go faster instead, according to a new study.
On average, drivers using adaptive cruise control (ACC) are more likely to speed than those manually applying the brakes and gas. With increased speed comes a greater risk for car accidents.
The results of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study are alarming in that people are using a safety measure to drive more dangerously.
At Johnson + Johnson Attorneys at Law, we know that anything that makes it easier for people to speed is concerning.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is one of the primary causes of fatal and serious accidents in the U.S. Every year, speeding is a factor in more than 3,000 fatal accidents.
Our South Carolina law firm has helped many speeding accident victims in the Greater Columbia area win the compensation they needed to recover from the life-altering injuries sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Adaptive cruise control a tool for speeding?
The IIHS study found that drivers were 24% more likely to drive over the speed limit when using adaptive cruise control compared to manual drivers. Overall, when speeding, drivers using ACC tended to speed faster than those without automated assistance.
ACC is an advanced version of cruise control that uses sensors to maintain a preselected distance from the vehicle in front. This mechanism removes the traditional cruise control inconvenience of having to brake and pause the feature to adjust for surrounding traffic.
Even though ACC is helpful, it is not an autopilot. Drivers must stay alert, as ACC won’t always adjust for common road features and hazards.
Speeding is too common
One of the more dangerous aspects of speeding is how common and acceptable it is in our culture. At any given time about 13%-20% of the vehicles on the road are driving at least 10 mph over the speed limit.
There are many reasons people may speed, such as:
- They're running late
- They have road rage
- They enjoy the thrill of going fast
It's been shown that speeding increases your risk of getting into an accident.
Injuries sustained in high-speed car, truck, and motorcycle accidents include traumatic brain injuries, concussions, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, knee injuries, whiplash, and internal bleeding. The severity of the injuries largely depends on the speed at impact - the faster the travel, the more intense the injuries.
While the IIHS study points out a dangerous use of automated cruise safety equipment, there are benefits to ACC when used correctly.
In the right capacity, collision avoidance systems like ACC and lane-centering technology can reduce crash damages by 5%-37% depending on the scenario.
Johnson + Johnson can protect your rights
Traffic accidents - especially those involving speeding – happen fast. The insurance adjusters handling your claim also move with great quickness.
The aftermath of a bad accident is a low point for many people, and the insurance companies will try to take advantage of that. They want to pressure you into accepting a small settlement. Shortchanging accident victims is how the industry earns billions of dollars in profits every year.
The first settlement offer you’re going to get is almost guaranteed to be far below the compensation you actually deserve. You’ll be lucky if the first offer covers your immediate medical bills, let alone things like physical therapy, lost wages, replacement services, the cost of future medical care, and reduced earning potential.
Don’t be fooled by the insurance companies. You don’t have to accept their version of events or their meager settlement offer. An experienced car accident lawyer can get the insurance companies off your back and do all the investigating, evidence collection, and negotiating necessary to help you pursue a fair settlement.
Attorneys Kevin C. Johnson and Steven W. Johnson are brothers who were born and raised in South Carolina and have a passion for helping accident victims in our community fight back against manipulative insurance companies.
Contact us today at our office in Lexington, South Carolina. We would be honored to speak with you about your potential legal case.