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Many drivers welcome new safety features in vehicles

If you’ve spent much time at all on Ohio’s roads, you know there are plenty of drivers who most of us would not consider “good” drivers. You know the ones I mean. The texters. The speeders. The aggressive drivers. The exhausted drivers. The newspaper readers. Unfortunately, our roads are full of drivers whose actions put the rest of us at risk. So how do you explain a recent survey funded by Ford that showed 99 percent of respondents considered themselves good drivers?

The survey of more than 2,000 drivers conducted in May found that all but 1 percent of respondents thought they were good drivers, even though a majority of them also admitted to taking part in activities that distract them from driving.

According to the study released last month:

  • 76 percent of Americans admitted to snacking or drinking beverages while driving.
  • 55 percent said that they drive at excessive speeds.
  • 53 percent used their cell phone while driving.
  • 37 percent operated a vehicle when they were too drowsy to drive.
  • 25 percent of Americans in the survey found nothing wrong with picking up the phone to look for contact numbers, while driving.

Most people do these other activities while driving because they feel too rushed and need to multitask.

Not surprisingly, all these dangerous activities have led to drivers finding themselves in dangerous situations. The survey found that 57 percent have had an accident or close call with someone in their blind spot, 48 percent hit or almost hit something backing out of a parking lot and 38 percent avoid parallel parking like the plague.

Most of those surveyed said they would be somewhat or very interested in technology that could help them operate their vehicles more safely. Nearly nine out of 10 of the survey respondents expressed interest in technology that could assist in slowing their car if it determines there is a potential collision ahead. Two-thirds of the drivers who participated in the survey indicated they would be interested in systems that can help them see around other vehicles while backing out of a parking space and detect other vehicles that might be in a blind spot over their shoulders. Eighty percent expressed interest in a lane-keeping system for added safety when driving fatigued.

However, most drivers are not ready for self-driving cars. Only 39 percent of those surveyed said they would be comfortable driving an autonomous vehicle.

Many of these safety features are already available in high-end models from most carmakers. However, companies need to find a way to work them into more models. But even if car companies added top-of-the-line safety features to every car coming off assembly lines, it still is up to drivers to not let themselves be distracted while they are behind the wheel. Trying to eat or send a text or drive when you are exhausted are not things drivers should be doing, no matter how busy and time-stressed they may be. When you are behind the wheel, put down your cell phone and watch the road around you.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer. Contact the Ohio auto accident lawyers of Elk & Elk at 1-800-ELK-OHIO today or fill out our online contact form.