Study shows drivers use cellphones more often if they have safety features in their vehicles


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Despite law changes, texting from behind the wheel continues to be a problem on American roadways. As new cars bring new features to keep on the road, it can be easy to forget that the driver is, for now, the first and last piece of the safety equation.

A OK Driving instructor Mike Duncan explained, “It’s decision making. It can’t really have a human decision there. Sometimes if a car’s in your lane, you need to go off the road instead of going straight ahead, and I’ve gone off the road in driver’s ed before.”

Some drivers, however, are less attentive. These drivers are unplugging from the road as they plug into social media. According to a State Farm Insurance study, phone use of many types goes up when you add extra safety features into a car. Even though it may seem as though the safety features give drivers the green light to keep their eyes off the road, that’s not the case.

“At the end of the day, it’s up to us to be attentive, responsible drivers, and pay attention to what we’re doing, just as if there were no safety features”, said Lawrence Hall sales professional Taylor Matos. “You always have that little backup to help you out if you need it, but it’s not meant to take over attentive driving.”

Tools like adaptive cruise control can keep you from rear-ending a slower vehicle in front of you. Lane keep assist holds the car in line. Neither of them can fully take over driving duties for you.

That’s why Duncan says he makes an effort to train attentive drivers: “Checking the blind spot, looking where they’re supposed to work, and checking their surroundings.”

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