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How Safe is Lane-Keeping Assistance Technology in the Cars of the Future?

The people of the future want smarter, safer automobiles with advanced technology to help prevent car accidents. Automakers from around the globe are happy to comply, equipping their vehicles with newer and neater safety features, from forward-warning crash detection to even steering systems that can automatically parallel park. While most of these upgrades seem to be bringing nothing but benefits by reducing crashes, there is one that has some people skeptical, if not a little worried: lane-keeping assistance technology.

What is a Lane-Keeping Assistant?

How often do distracted or drunk drivers sway or swerve unexpectedly out of their lane, causing either a sideswipe collision or a devastating head-on crash? The problem is prevalent enough for engineers to want to fix it using smart technology. At this point, the hi-tech answer has been lane-keeping assistance (LKA) systems.

An LKA system is often comprised of sensors and cameras pointed off to the sides of the vehicle and facing forward. If the forward-facing cameras notice lane indicator lines moving towards the center of the vehicle and the side-facing sensors detect an object to that side, then the LKA will tilt the steering column and apply the brakes to keep the car in its driver’s lane. On paper, an LKA system sounds ingenious and promising. But how is it in practice?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the jury is still out on the effectiveness of LKA systems. There has not been enough concrete data collected to determine if it is preventing accidents. Yet the concern remains that an LKA could cause an accident by taking control of the steering column when it is not needed. A computer glitch could theoretically cause the sensors to react to nothing and force the car to swerve to the side, into adjacent or oncoming traffic. Thankfully, this is only a theory at this point, as no accidents have been concretely linked to such a defect.

Were you or someone you love hurt in a car accident caused by an auto defect? Berthold Law Firm, PLLC and our West Virginia car accident attorneys have the experience – more than 70 years of combined legal experience – and the know-how to take on auto manufacturers with success. To date, we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients through victorious case results. We would like to see if we can do the same for you – call (304) 605-2040 or fill out an online contact form now.