Driver-assist technologies to boost safety

Lane-keeping assist
Lane-keeping assist © Corepics VOF/

One of the simplest chores a driver has to do is stay within his or her lane, but whether it's because of distraction or fatigue, lane drifting causes many accidents on American roads every year.

To combat the problem, several automakers have introduced lane-keeping-assist options that alert drivers when they drift out of their lanes and potentially into other cars or off the road.

"It has a camera that detects what it thinks of as being the edge of the lane that you're in, and if you do something like try to change lanes without having your turn signal on, it gives you a warning," Good says.

Some systems take that a step further, actually moving the steering wheel to direct the car back into your lane.

But, there's a problem, Good says. "Most people find it incredibly annoying, because it's giving you all these warnings about things you really intend to do."

That can lead drivers to turn the systems off, which limits their effectiveness in preventing accidents, Good says.

Drivers may also come to depend too much on the technology, becoming more careless about texting and other distractions because they assume the system will warn them if they start to wander, Good says.

"They all come with that kind of a warning," Good says. "This is not designed to replace driving."


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