Vehicle safety features can help keep drivers in North Carolina safe, but this is only when they are used correctly. A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety explains what the consequences are when these systems are misused. Researchers focused on two safety features: adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

Adaptive cruise control is able to accelerate and decelerate for drivers to maintain a safe following distance while lane-keeping assist tugs at the steering wheel whenever it senses the vehicle veering out of its lane. It seems that an inherent risk in these features is that they cause drivers to become complacent behind the wheel and thus more prone to distraction.

In fact, the study found that drivers who use these features are twice as likely to become distracted. Those less familiar with the features are not as likely to drive distracted. Researchers are calling on automakers to better educate their customers about the limitations of these features and other safety tech. The systems can only assist drivers; they cannot make sophisticated decisions in their place.

For the study, researchers surveyed vehicles like the Tesla Model S, Acura MDX, Ford Fusion and Jeep Cherokee. Cameras captured the behavior of the drivers, and the footage was assessed by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Distracted driving can be hard for the victims of motor vehicle accidents to prove about the other side, which is why if they intend to file a personal injury claim, they may want legal representation. A lawyer might bring in third parties to obtain the police report, investigate the crash and more. The lawyer may then strive for a reasonable settlement out of court. If the defendant’s auto insurance company does not wish to settle, then victims may consider litigation.