Safety Warning Issued After Flaws Found in Electronic Safety SystemsSeptember 6, 2018
Electronic driver-assist systems are meant to prevent accidents by automatically applying the brakes or alerting the driver of an impending collision with a warning signal, often by a loud beeping noise. Unfortunately, some vehicles may not detect a parked or stopped vehicle until it is too late. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), after testing five electronic safety systems in various vehicles, the systems failed in certain circumstances.
In the article, Reality Check, the IIHS issued a warning to consumers and car manufacturers that while the systems can be life-saving when they work properly, there are certain circumstances under which they can fail. For example, when IIHS researchers tested the Tesla Model S and Model 3 with the adaptive cruise control turned off and the automatic braking system on, both vehicles’ brakes engaged and avoided a crash, but they hit a stationary balloon. Of the vehicles tested, including models from Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, and Volvo, only the Tesla vehicles failed to stop in time when tested on a driving track. However, when the cruise control was activated, both Tesla vehicles avoided hitting the balloon.
According to the Chief Research Officer at IIHS, in some cases, certain vehicles tested could put consumers at risk, so it is crucial for manufacturers to take the necessary steps to prevent that from happening. When the vehicles were tested on public roads, IIHS engineers found that only the Tesla Model 3 responded to vehicles ahead of them that were stopped. They recognized that the safety systems in the Tesla models, BMW 5-Series, Volvo S-90, and the Mercedes E-Class are currently the best in the business. However, while they do increase safety, they are not 100 percent reliable.
Vehicles with Electronic Safety Systems Are Not Self-Driving Cars
The names of vehicle safety systems can be misleading to consumers, including Tesla’s Autopilot and Volvo’s Pilot Assist, leading them to believe that they are self-driving cars. While the owner’s manual for each vehicle describes the safety features in detail and reminds drivers to pay attention, few consumers read every page of the owner’s manual. Drivers need to understand that while the safety system can provide steering assistance or speed control, the driver is still controlling the vehicle, so they need to pay attention to the road at all times.
IIHS researchers also found that vehicles’ lane-centering systems failed to function properly. For example, the BMW, Model S, and Volvo required the driver to take over after the system steered toward or across the lane. IIHS is currently in the process of coming up with ratings for driver assist programs. They will also be making recommendations on safety regulations for fully autonomous vehicles.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Faulty Safety Systems
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving an electronic safety system that did not function properly, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. This relatively new technology has not yet been perfected, and we are committed to holding the negligent party responsible for your injuries. Our experienced team will pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.