Are Vehicles Today Too Safe For Our Own Good?

Bismarck – The newest vehicles to hit the market–include gadgets galore.
But the reliance on those devices that are supposed to make us safer, may end up luring us into a false sense of security.

Gone are the good ol days of driving when you only had to worry about three things…
1950’s driving video…”Number one. approach Intersections Cautiously, Number two, don’t depend on the right of way, number three, before turning, slow down, signal and look in the mirrors,”

Vehicles these days are better, and safer than ever…they pretty much drive themselves…actually some do…but as safety technology expands—so does our reliance on them.

A recent study by the American Automobile Association shows that younger drivers may be putting too much faith and trust in such safety innovations such as blind spot monitoring, automatic braking and lane departure warning.

Jed Geer runs the 1st geer driving school in Bismarck and tells me when he’s teaching young drivers, they limit the access to such technology like a backup camera.

” First Question we’ll ask is if they have access to a backup camera, most kids do, and so we don’t necessarily shut it down, but we will cover it with a piece of paper or tape. We’ll then allow them to morph into being allowed to use both the mirrors and the backup camera.” Said Geer

The Triple A study showed a whopping 80 percent of drivers did not know the limitations of their blind spot monitoring system…40-percent didn’t’t know how forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking exactly worked and 25 percent of drivers surveyed trusted their blind spot monitoring system so much they felt it was no longer necessary to use their vehicles mirrors.

The concern doesn’t just lie with new driver. Some longtime drivers I talked to said even they are caught relying on their technology too much.

“It’s not 100 percent accurate, so i think that as a safety precaution yes you should use both new technology and old school” said Resident Michele Delorme.

“You know if i’m i’m backing up and i’m not actually looking at what’s behind me, what if there’s a child under my camera, I’m not gonna know their there.” Said Bismarck resident Amber Rose-Mergenthaler.

Cliff Hon is the sales Manager at Dvorak Motors, he sells lots of vehicles with all this technology, but he’s also the father to a teenage driver.

“When he started driving, we got him a vehicle that didn’t have all the safety features because it’s my job to teach him, you know, what you got to do, as their younger we teach them to look both ways before crossing the street, when they first start driving, then they need to make sure they’re using their turn signals and using their mirrors, so many people don’t use their mirrors anymore and that’s scary.” Said Hon.

While this technology can have its drawbacks, its also the future. The study says these safety features can potentially prevent nearly 95-hundred deaths every year on US roads. So whether you’ve just started driving, or you’ve spent decades behind the wheel. Remember the basics—while taking advantage of the tech.

Geer also tells KX News you should always drive defensively, leave plenty of space between the car in front of you and leave your cell phone alone.

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