Many drivers misunderstand vehicle safety technology

Distracted driving is not just a bad habit but is all too often a deadly habit. Professional drivers say they see it nearly every minute. And the thing is that new technology designed to help the driver, including blind-spot monitoring systems and automatic emergency braking, may actually make bad drivers worse.

The failure rate is 40 percent when it comes to drivers not understanding what the new tech in their car does, according to AAA Northeast spokesman Robert Sinclair Jr. He said many owners mistakenly think blind-spot monitoring warns them about what is behind the car or will alert them to pedestrians, cyclists, and fast-moving cars.

Consumers have high expectations for these new technologies, which experts say can prevent up to 2.5 million crashes and save nearly 10,000 lives each year. But the experts also say the key is for drivers not think of this as a substitute for their own responsibilities.

Sinclair said AAA believes more auto dealers should have staff members educating and training buyers on the new tech.

Drivers should remember that they are still the boss and the brain behind the wheel.