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Is Adaptive Cruise Control Safe?

Published: Aug 14, 2023 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
Contact an East St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer at The Cates Law Firm for Trusted Legal Representation

Cruise control has been around for a long time, but adaptive cruise control (ACC) takes it to another level. Instead of maintaining the same speed, ACC automatically adjusts the miles per hour to conform to safe following distances and speed limits. Many news outlets have questioned whether adaptive cruise control is safe, however.

These systems use sensors like radar equipment and cameras installed in vehicles.  This technology alerts the vehicle when other cars and objects are on the road and then increases or decreases the speed accordingly. When the other vehicle or object is out of range, the ACC returns the speed to the driver’s seat.

ACC has certain benefits, such as improved safety from greater following distances. This can prevent accidents and also maximize the flow of traffic. Drivers do not need to worry as much about depressing the gas and brake pedals and manually changing the cruise control speed.

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that ACC could pose safety risks. According to their research, drivers who use this technology often drive faster, putting them at a 10 percent higher risk of being involved in a fatal accident. This report looked at 40 drivers using ACC and found that faster cruising speeds were the root of the problem.

Another report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) surveyed 1,659 drivers of ACC-equipped vehicles to gauge how these respondents felt about using the systems. Although the majority favored using ACC, a large percentage were unaware of all the features and limitations. Twelve percent of those surveyed also said they narrowly avoided accidents when using the system.

ACC systems have other issues, like failing to respond when driving through dark tunnels or in poor weather conditions like fog or snow. Drivers who use this advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) technology should know they must practice safe driving habits because relying on technology alone is never a good idea. Still, ongoing research and technological advances will likely improve ADAS in the coming years.

Are There Different Kinds of ADAS?

The Society of Automotive Engineers designated five levels of ADAS. Level 1 systems only have one feature, like ACC. A Level 2 can control the steering, acceleration, and braking with the driver at the wheel. Then there is Level 3, where the vehicle is autonomous with a driver in the car. Level 4 and 5 cars do not need to have a human inside.

Contact an East St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer at The Cates Law Firm for Trusted Legal Representation

ADAS can prevent and also cause accidents. A skilled East St. Louis car accident lawyer at The Cates Law Firm can help if you were injured in a collision. Call 618-277-3644 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.