News For the New Year: ADAS Info and Drugged Driving Dangers

News For the New Year: ADAS Info and Drugged Driving Dangers

Jay Stillman

4 min read

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) Go Standard in 2020

In the market for a new car? Stillman and Friedland hope that it will be an even safer model than what you are driving now. Your 2020 model new car will most likely be equipped with driving intervention features. According to a Reuters report:

A group of 20 carmakers has pledged to outfit almost every new vehicle with forward collision warning and city-speed automatic emergency braking by 2020.”

These features, which are paving the way to self-driving cars, are expected to reduce accidents by as much as 25%. The booming annual growth rate of automated driving technologies is 10% per year, and we will soon see if the results match expectations. Consumers are hoping that safer driving will translate into lower insurance premiums, but that may take a while. There is still a lack of data for the efficacy of ADAS systems overall, so insurers are not dishing out discounts just yet.

Another obstacle to lowered premiums is the lack of standardization and varying terminology. ADAS systems are confusing for consumers and insurance companies alike. When comparing different cars, it is hard to tell if systems are the same or even comparable. According to AAA:

“…Automakers use 40 different names to describe automatic emergency braking and 20 for adaptive cruise control.”

Add into this automakers’ unwillingness to share crash data for systems and models, and you can understand why your car insurance premium will not change much in 2020. Other factors to consider are drivers’ learning curves in learning to use ADAS technology, and more expensive repairs.
Want to learn more about all the different ADAS systems, and see which systems you would want in your new car? A comprehensive list of features currently on offer is available from Autoblog. These are grouped into five basic categories that include collision warning and intervention, parking assistance, cruise control, and other systems including driver monitoring to gauge alertness.

We hope ADAS will make a big difference in safety for all Tennesseans.

Nationwide Drugged Driving Increases, Especially with Cannabis Legalization

It seems that while the car industry is trying to add safety features, irresponsible drivers are adding risk to our highways. Government statistics dating from 2007 confirm that cannabinoid impaired fatalities are rising, doubling in less than ten years. As of 2017 enforcement data, cannabinoid use represented the largest set of impaired drivers (38%) tested by law enforcement. A 2018 Pew Research report also detailed the increased accident rate which accompanies legalization and the increase in opioid use:

An online survey in April…found that 69 percent of pot users said they had driven under the influence of marijuana at least once in the past year and 27 percent said they drove high almost daily. Many recreational users said they didn’t think it affected their ability to drive safely.”

And yet the same report found that accident rates had doubled in Washington state after legalization. A major part of the problem is that drivers fail to recognize their impairment. According to the NHTSA:

Research shows that marijuana impairs motor skills, lane tracking and cognitive functions (Robbe et al., 1993; Moskowitz, 1995; Hartman & Huestis, 2013). A 2015 study on driving after smoking cannabis stated that THC in marijuana also hurts a driver’s ability to multitask, a critical skill needed behind the wheel.”

The Gatestone Institute has opened a year-long investigation into the effects of marijuana legalization. One of their team of experts has said, “marijuana drug addiction is quietly becoming a stealth public health crisis.” It seems that not all consequences were considered when legalization was adopted.

Elevated cannabis consumption includes the increased number of individuals using and frequency of use. The same expert has noted:

It wasn’t obvious to me 25 years ago, when nine percent of self-reported cannabis users over the (prior) month reported daily or near-daily use. I always was prepared to say, ‘No, it’s not a very abusable drug. Nine percent of anybody will do something stupid.’ But that number is now [something like] 40 percent.”

Will Tennessee join the ranks of states which legalize marijuana use? Do increased tax revenues from marijuana sales balance out the loss of human life and the cost of increased police patrols to catch drugged drivers? We don’t think so.

During the holidays, if you indulge, don’t drive. Your car won’t take over if you are incapacitated—yet. Pick a designated driver or use a taxi service.

Our Tennessee Highway Patrol will be out in force over the holidays; they too want to remind you to “Stay Sober or Get Pulled Over”.
Our message to Tennesseans is to stay sober or stay off the roads, for a better holiday season for everyone and a happy New Year.

Because we care…