How to Use Driver-Assist Features Safely

How to Use Driver-Assist Features Safely

Assisted-driving features are on the rise: More and more are being introduced to help you drive carefully on the road. But these technologies can't drive for you — it's still important to stay cautious behind the wheel. Learn how to keep being a smart driver with this smart technology.

Where Driver-Assist Features Fall Short

Safety sensors may not respond ideally to all real-life situations. For example:

  • Lane departure sensors signal if you've drifted into another lane, but they may not recognize an icy patch, faded lane markers or sharp curves in the road.
  • Adaptive cruise control will increase or decrease your vehicle's speed based on the pace of traffic ahead, but it may not respond as quickly if another car suddenly cuts over into your lane.
  • Cameras with sensors can detect objects in your car's path — like small animals or pedestrians — but drivers may begin to rely on the sensors alone and be less inclined to check their surroundings.

Using Driver-Assist Technology Safely

No matter how high-tech your car is, it's essential that you:

  • Pay attention. With more automated features, drivers may more easily be distracted by electronics, passengers and more. Avoid these common driving distractions to stay safer on the road.
  • Provide the brains. Automated systems are helpful — but they're not human. Drivers still need to be able to respond quickly in road situations.

Revisit the basics. As drivers begin to rely on car features, they may often forget to check mirrors, check blind spots when changing lanes and other basic driving skills. Get back in the habit, regardless of whether your car is helping.