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Technology could increase distracted driving

Any motorcyclist in the Evansville area knows that one of the biggest dangers to him or her is an inattentive driver.

Motorcycle unawareness can easily lead to a driver's pulling a car or even a large commercial out in front of a motorcyclist that is trying to turn, crowding the motorcyclist out of a lane or even just running the motorcycle over from behind. Any one of these mistakes can lead to serious or even fatal motorcycle accidents.

Inattentive driving on the part of another motorist can happen for a variety of reasons. Interestingly, it seems that one of the latest causes of inattentive driving may be the latest safety features that cars now routinely come equipped with.

These features, like blind spot detection and forward collision warning systems, can and do save lives and prevent injuries.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks. For one, not every motorists knows exactly how they are supposed to work. For instance, blind spot warning systems are not as effective at picking up smaller objects that may be in a vehicle's blind spot, but many drivers do not realize that.

Likewise, a forward collision warning system is just that, a warning to a driver; unlike an automatic braking system, the car will not do anything to prevent the accident without manual intervention.

Unfortunately, some motorists are a little too trusting of this technology even though they do not understand it. One report suggested that 1 in 4 drivers would be willing to trust their blind spot warning system without confirming it with a quick glance.

Likewise, the same number of drivers thought that they could get away with distracted driving because their cars had systems to prevent rear-ending the vehicle in front of them.

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