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Lane Departure Warning Systems Can Prevent Accidents

Lane departure warning systems are among the new innovations auto manufacturers are building into their cars to help drivers avoid accidents. The systems use sensors built into the car to detect a lane and sound an alarm if the driver veers out of the lane. Some systems will even take partial control of the vehicle to keep the car moving in a straight line. For drivers who are distracted or tired, this feature can be a significant safety enhancement. Lane departure systems raise interesting legal questions that can become important in the event that a vehicle equipped with such a system gets into an accident. Here are some potential issues that can arise:
  • The system doesn’t work as intended. Perhaps the most interesting question for drivers is how reliable a safety feature like lane detection really is. Will the car always know what a lane is? If the car can impede steering in some way, could that create its own safety hazards? For someone who is injured in an accident where a safety system may not have worked correctly, a products liability case against the manufacturer of the car or its safety system may be an appropriate remedy.
  • A driver disregards warning signals. How much liability does a driver have if a lane departure system provides an audible warning, but the driver ignores it? Drivers may have a good argument that having an optional safety system does not create an explicit legal obligation to pay attention to it. However, disregarding a car’s warnings may provide one important piece of evidence that a driver was not paying attention at the time of the accident. As such, ignoring the lane departure system may form at least part of a foundation for a claim of negligence against the driver.
  • The system was turned off at the time of the accident. Lane departure systems are typically equipped with a switch to turn them off. Some drivers don’t like to hear alarms every time they change lanes. Some don’t the idea of the car taking control. And as already mentioned, just because an optional system is onboard doesn’t mean that the driver has an obligation to use it. That a system is disabled could be a factor in an accident if a driver is used to having it on, but for whatever reason it has been turned off and the driver isn’t aware of it. In such cases, the driver may be relying on the system to drive in an irresponsible way, such as texting while driving with the expectation that the system offers a degree of extra safety. In a sense, this kind of driver may actually be less safe as a consequence of placing too much reliance on a safety feature.
When an accident involves complex questions of technology, it’s important to have an experienced accident attorney at your side. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in personal injury and accident cases. Reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation about your accident. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our site.

Lane Departure Detection and Other Car Safety Features

Auto safety features have become increasingly more sophisticated over the last decade. Modern cars are often equipped with advanced equipment like rear-facing cameras, front and side obstacle detection, blind spot warnings, and lane-keep assist. These features, many of which come as a side benefit of the race toward self-driving cars, greatly enhance a vehicle’s safety. Despite their obvious advantages, modern safety features aren’t able to stop every kind of accident. In fact, their role in an accident could become a part of a personal injury dispute. An overarching reason that this is true is that modern cars record enormous quantities of information about their systems, including the state of safety features. Here are a few ways these systems might factor into a case:
  • Showing distraction. Technology has made it easier to prove that a driver was distracted at the time of an accident. If the accident was caused by the driver’s car veering across lanes, the fact that the lane-keep assist system was beeping could be used to show that the driver wasn’t paying attention. Likewise if the driver backed into someone or something while the backup camera was active, the extra information available on the camera monitor may serve as a useful fact for the plaintiff. Although the data probably doesn’t tell the whole picture, it can become a vital clue as to the state of mind of the driver in the moments before the accident.
  • Establishing facts. Many safety features rely upon a car’s “vision,” as provided by cameras and other sensory equipment. The data from sensors themselves can become valuable information in a dispute. For example, it may show where one vehicle was in relation to another at the time of a crash. A collision prevention system’s activation may indicate that the driver was following too closely or didn’t brake in time. Oftentimes the facts shown by a system’s technical records are more reliable than the scattered recollections of individuals involved in a crash. Sometimes the technical data can show that one of the people involved in a crash isn’t telling the truth.
  • Resting culpability on the manufacturer. It’s conceivable that a safety system may not work as intended. A driver who has come to rely on a car’s side and rear obstruction detectors might cause an accident if the detectors aren’t working properly. There could be many reasons for a malfunction: improper maintenance, ordinary wear and tear, or a fundamental flaw in the system’s design or construction. Where the responsibility for the system’s failure rests with the manufacturer, it may be drawn into a case on a products liability theory.
The role modern safety systems can play in a personal injury case will vary based on the specific facts of each accident. Working with experienced attorneys who understand how to use technical data is essential to building a strong case. For more than 45 years the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented personal injury clients in the Las Vegas area. If you have been injured in a car accident call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page.