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IIHS: cars with ADAS not self-driving, but many think otherwise

Advanced driver assistance systems like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking can help prevent accidents in New Hampshire and across the U.S. The only problem is that many do not understand their limitations. ADAS are meant to assist drivers, not replace them; they do not make a car self-driving. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has conducted a survey to find out just how widespread the confusion is.

More than 2,000 drivers participated in the survey. To begin with, most did not know that there are five levels of automation. At level five, a car drives itself under any circumstances. Most ADAS put a car at level two, the level at which drivers are still expected to be alert and actively engaged in driving.

Survey participants were asked what would be considered safe with these five programs: Autopilot, Traffic Jam Assist, Super Cruise, Driving Assistant Plus and ProPilot Assist. Since the developers' names were withheld, many participants (almost 50%) naturally thought the Autopilot would allow them to drive hands-free.

Also, 80 people watched a video on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and half received an orientation on the car's safety features. Even with training, though, participants had trouble grasping key information. Making matters worse, Mercedes-Benz had earlier advertised this car as self-driving.

Though automakers can deceive through marketing, drivers still have a responsibility to find out the truth when they are confused about a particular safety feature. They will be to blame for any motor vehicle accidents they cause through inattention, even if they believed that ADAS would cover for them. Those who are injured may seek compensation for their vehicle repair costs, medical bills, lost wages and other damages. This is where a lawyer may come in handy because filing a personal injury claim can be complicated.

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