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IIHS testing finds flaws with driver-assist car safety systems

Anyone in Missouri opting for a vehicle with one of the latest electronic car safety systems may have some added peace of mind while behind the wheel. Even so, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, has issued a warning after testing such systems on vehicles produced by four top manufacturers. The organization discovered situations where certain vehicles with electronic car safety systems behave in ways that may put both drivers and passengers at increased risk.

According to a paper issued by the IIHS, some cars and trucks with electronic driver assist systems may contribute to motor vehicle accidents by steering drivers who are not paying attention into a collision. In other instances, vehicles could overlook stopped vehicles directly in front of them. The insurance industry group notes that safety systems still have the potential to save lives, but they can also fail in certain situations.

Two different models from the same manufacturer managed to avoid a crash even though they still hit a stationary balloon that was on the testing track. When the adaptive cruise control was activated, a safe distance was maintained that allowed both vehicle models to avoid contact with the balloon. With road tests, all but one model failed to recognize stopped vehicles in their path. Some of the vehicles tested also had problems with their lane-centering systems although researchers called some crash avoidance features like automatic braking "helpful." IIHS is preparing to issue a rating system for driver-assist systems.

If electronic car safety systems fail to prevent motor vehicle accidents, a personal injury attorney may consider whether or not a negligent driver was properly using their system. If a driver or passenger was injured because safety system features didn't work as intended, legal action may be taken against the vehicle manufacturer, especially if there are failed test results on file like what was reported by the IIHS.

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