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PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.

Drivers in New York who own a vehicle with driver-assist technology should make sure that they are not becoming inattentive. Many let themselves become inattentive because they think that driver-assist systems take over the driving for them when, in fact, this is far from the case. These systems only provide Level Two automation whereas fully automated vehicles, which do not exist yet, fall under Level Five.

Driver-assist technology covers advanced features like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking. Regulatory bodies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have been scrutinizing the tech because of its connection to a sizeable number of car accidents.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a safety non-profit funded by insurance companies, has released a report where it calls for improvements to the tech. It points out that most driver-assist systems only require a little steering wheel input to continue operating. This does not prevent drivers from using their phone or becoming distracted in other ways.

The IIHS makes three important recommendations for improving the systems. One is to add driver-facing cameras and other monitoring devices. The second is to add sensors to the steering wheel that measure drivers’ reaction times and, with them, their level of attention. The third is to have alarms sound off when attention levels go down.

When auto accidents arise because a driver was distracted, they can open up the way for a personal injury claim. New York being a no-fault state, victims may only file a third-party insurance claim if serious injuries or disabilities were incurred. To see what their options are, victims may schedule a legal evaluation. A personal injury lawyer might handle all negotiations and see that victims are reimbursed for both monetary damages, such as medical expenses, and non-monetary damages, such as pain and suffering.