Advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, have already helped prevent car accidents across Kentucky. Yet there are many drivers who do not understand that the purpose of ADAS is to assist drivers: not to replace them. In a survey of more than 2,000 drivers, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that many overestimate the various driver assistance programs on the market.

As part of the survey, participants were asked what behaviors would be safe in a car equipped with, Autopilot, Traffic Jam Assist, Super Cruise, Driving Assistant Plus or ProPilot Assist. The developers’ names were not given. This may be why nearly 50% thought that the Autopilot, based on name alone, would allow them to drive without touching the steering wheel.

Another experiment involved 80 people who were shown a video on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Half were trained on the car’s cluster icons. Despite that, most had trouble understanding key points. For example, they did not know why the adaptive cruise control could not detect a vehicle ahead. The reason was that the vehicle was out of its range.

The fact is that self-driving cars are far from becoming a reality. Automakers are engaging in deceptive advertising, though. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, for example, was described as a self-driving car, though that ad was eventually pulled.

So it is clear that drivers using ADAS can still get into car accidents. When those accidents involve a serious injury or disability, then they can form the basis for a personal injury case. Victims, or their families, may pursue such a case once they have filed with their own insurance company (Kentucky being a no-fault state). This is where legal assistance might be of benefit. A lawyer may be able to negotiate for a fair settlement so that a trial can be avoided.