Will Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Improve Teen Safety?

 In Car Safety Features, Vehicle Safety

Statistically speaking, driving is a dangerous activity. It’s particularly dangerous for teens. For every mile driven, teens are almost three times as likely as older drivers to be in a fatal car crash and up to 10 times more likely to be involved in non-fatal crashes¹. The good news is the risk of getting into fatal accidents continues to decrease with driving experience and new technologies. One of these new technologies that can help protect our teens is ADAS: Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. In this article, we’ll explore some of the information around ADAS, including public opinion and safety.

A Brief Introduction to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

In recent years, there have been a number of technological advancements to help improve safety both on and off the road. One of the largest advancements has been the advanced driver assistance system. These systems have the potential to help improve teen driving by compensating for errors while behind the wheel. ADAS can help to reduce the severity or frequency of crashes involving teen drivers and therefore, has huge implications for the future of safety on the road.

Unfortunately, the technology involved in the advanced driver assistance systems can be confusing to understand. It can also lead to reliance on automated features, which decreases necessary skills. To help parents and teens understand how ADAS could contribute to safer driving conditions and fewer accidents or fatal crashes, understanding the system is important.

Some features included in advanced driver assistance systems include lane departure warnings (LDW), which notify drivers if they’re crossing painted lines or boundaries on the road. In advanced systems, this feature can go further and actually adjust the steering to make sure a vehicle is staying centered in the lane. Blind spot monitors help to alert teens when there’s something on the side or rear of the vehicle. Forward Collision Warning (FCW) alerts drivers if their car is approaching a vehicle or other identified item too quickly. Like LDW, this feature can be accompanied by an automatic braking system called Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB). There are also features included, such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Traffic Signal Recognition, which help to supplement teen driving with automated features.

Unfortunately, many people are skeptical of automated driving features as they are sometimes seen as a crutch for drivers or an excuse to drive when legally impaired, distracted, or exhausted. With increasingly positive research reports, it’s time to start looking at advanced driver assistance systems in more detail and better determine how they can be applied in the future of safe driving.

A Study on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems for Teen Drivers

To better understand opinions on advanced driver assistance systems among parents and their teens, a recent study was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Using web-based focus groups, the researchers interviewed parents who had the newest ADAS-equipped vehicles and had a new teen driver in the household. The purpose was to explore the attitudes and experiences of these parents while teaching their teens to drive.

During the interviews parents candidly admitted that their teens face risks stemming from their lifestyles, such as heavy phone use, fatigue, drinking, risky driving behavior, speeding and lack of experience on the roadway.

When it came to ADAS, there was a certain level of distrust and ambivalence. The parents were concerned about the reliability of the system, false alarms and general distrust.

There was a common theme of teaching their teens to drive, without too much reliance on the ADAS. They reported on positive experiences with the systems such as making lane changes or closeness to other vehicles when parking. Interestingly, one parent commented:

I think those features make driving safer, but they don’t make you a safer driver.

Overall, half the group believed that ADAS is useful during the early stages of learning, whereas others only introduced the systems after their teen had developed the essential driving skills.

Overall, this recent research shows that parents have not remarkably changed their attitudes about ADAS and teen driving from similar research done in the past. There is still debate on when to use ADAS to improve the safety of teen driving. While yes, ADAS may be a good thing, we still need more education and familiarity on the topic. It’s fairly clear that neither we as parents nor  professionals have a strong enough understanding of ADAS or its application to completely rely on it. Caution is probably the best approach.

Education, Safety and Auto Grades

There are essentially two ways to keep our teen safe. First, we can educate teens on safe driving practices. Our purpose is to reduce the chances of developing dangerous habits on the road. We can teach our teens some of the good skills that we have learned from experience, plus we can give them 5 rules to follow:

  • Wear seat belts,
  • Drive the speed limit,
  • Don’t drive under the influence,
  • Don’t drive when tired, and
  • Don’t drive when distracted from friends or mobile devices!

Second, we can put our teens in safer cars. Auto Grades is the only personal safety rating system. We use the experience of drivers, by age and gender, to rate a car’s safety. Our driving and our ability to withstand the damage to our body changes with age. A car that may be good for your teen may not be good for you.

We developed our “best of” lists of vehicles that have a history of keeping teens safe. These cars, SUVs, and pickups have the best on-the-road track record for this age group. But you can also do your own Auto Grade personal search. We have nearly 5,000 ranked vehicles – and over 26,000 Auto Grades!

The other safety ratings systems have helped improve the safety of cars over the past 50 years. However, those ratings are based on laboratory testing. We tell you how the cars, SUVs, and pickups protected real people on the road.

The Auto Professor created Auto Grade ratings to bring peace of mind to parents. With our highly rated cars, parents and teens can feel comfortable and protected.

Teaching our teens good driving habits help prepare them for the worst situations on the road. Putting them in a vehicle with a high Auto Grade gives them a better chance of being protected if something goes wrong. Together we can create a world where our loved ones walk away from a crash.

Check out Auto Grades for yourself and your loved ones—absolutely free.

What are advanced driver assistance systems?

Advanced driver assistance systems are technological advancements that can help assist drivers with certain safety features, parking function, and general driving ability. They include automated technology that works to help detect and notify drivers of objects or errors using sensors and cameras. The goal of ADAS is to reduce human errors that lead to road accidents.

How do you check if the driver assist system is working?

Since ADAS relies on sensors, you’ll need to occasionally undergo recalibration. If your system is not working properly, you’ll be able to tell. You will no longer receive warnings, which may be sporadic, and many of the automated features may be disarmed. Rather than test these features out on the road, take your car to a licensed dealer or shop that’s certified in ADAS for maintenance.

Is it true that some of the driver assist systems cannot operate?

As with all technology, sometimes things go wrong. Drivers may find that their advanced driver assistance system isn’t displaying warnings or providing automated assistance. This could be due to interference with the sensors or cameras, such as in the case of debris, rain, ice, or anything that covers the radar sensor. If you notice that your ADAS is not operating efficiently, schedule an appointment with your dealership. Due to the potential inconsistencies, it’s essential that drivers are always focused on the road.

Working together to create a world where everyone walks away from a crash.

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