In North Carolina and across the U.S., more and more people are relying on driver assistance systems to stay safe on the road. Yet many overestimate the abilities of such technology, forgetting that it’s meant to assist, not replace, the driver. This is the conclusion of a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Researchers found, for example, that 80 percent of drivers with blind-spot monitoring systems are not aware of its limited ability to detect fast-approaching cars, cyclists and pedestrians. A quarter of respondents were so confident in their technology that they never look for oncoming motorists when changing lanes.

More than 40 percent of drivers with automatic emergency braking do not understand the difference between this technology and forward-collision warning. Furthermore, nearly 30 percent of drivers with adaptive cruise control feel comfortable doing other activities when it is activated.

It’s important to note that the study emphasized that vehicle safety technology is still effective. According to federal estimates, it can prevent about 40 percent of car crashes and 30 percent of crash deaths. However, many automakers, dealers and rental providers are not properly informing customers about the limitations. Misleading marketing may also play a part. The results of the study raise questions as to whether drivers can adapt to autonomous technology.

When over-reliance on safety technology causes drivers to become negligent, car accidents are more likely. The victim of another’s negligence will be eligible for compensation, but filing the claim and striving for that compensation is another matter. They will want to schedule a case evaluation with a lawyer. If the case is strong, the lawyer could have third-party investigators gather evidence. This evidence could be useful during negotiations.