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Directions in Highway Safety, Fall 2008 Cover Page Download Newsletter pdf
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Fall 2008 | Vol. 11 | No. 3

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AAA Foundation Releases Study on Driver Age and In-Vehicle Technology

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently completed a project on emerging in-vehicle technologies and driver age, which was cosponsored by NHTSA. The Foundation surveyed drivers on their knowledge of and experience with four technologies, specifically: high intensity discharge (HID) or adaptive headlamps; backing aids and rearview cameras; navigations systems; and adaptive cruise control.

The most significant overall finding was that many drivers don't understand the specific capabilities and limitations of the technologies. For example, many respondents actually thought that adaptive cruise control was a collision avoidance technology and would help them avoid a stopped vehicle. Furthermore, respondents with backing aids and cameras admitted using them without checking their mirrors and backing up faster than they would without these features. These types of attitudes can lead to risky or even dangerous driving behaviors.

AAA In-Vehicle Technology Study Cover Page

Many advanced in-vehicle technologies will undoubtedly be considered standard features in the next few years, becoming increasingly designed to enhance the driving experience. The bottom line is that no technology will replace turning to look behind you or always being ready to use the brakes. These innovations have the potential to make driving easier and less stressful, but this change cannot come at the expense of safe driving practices.

The full report and four fact sheets that summarize the findings relative to each technology are available at