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How to stay safe while anticipating the self-driving car

Completely autonomous vehicles are still far in the future, so West Virginia motorists should consider what technologies are available here and now that can help them stay safe. Thankfully, there's plenty to consider, especially with the way that advanced driver assistance systems have been developing.

For example, collision avoidance systems are becoming more of a regular feature, or at least an optional add-on. Using cameras and other sensors, these systems can alert the driver to a possible collision and automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not react in time.

Similar features include lane departure warning systems and blind spot alerts. These and other systems are normally available through mainstream brands like Chevrolet and Honda, while they usually come as part of the standard package with luxury brands like Audi and Mercedes. Studies have already shown how these features can help in reducing car crash fatalities. The attention paid to fully autonomous cars can take away from these developments. However, these systems will soon prove their worth as companies have to first ensure the safety of semi-autonomous driving before moving on to the final stage.

Until cars are fully autonomous, drivers are still responsible for maintaining control at all times while on the road. That means they can allow distractions, sleepiness, or alcohol to get the better of them. When such negligent driving results in occupants of other vehicles being injured, the at-fault motorist could be held financially responsible for the victim's medical expenses and other losses. An attorney representing a victim might first try to negotiate a settlement with the driver's insurance company before filing a lawsuit.

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