What drivers can do to stay safe
1. Get familiar with how ADAS work
AAA urges drivers to take time to read the vehicle owner’s manual to learn when, where, and how to use features like automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assistance. The manual or online materials provided by the automaker are the best resource for understanding the ins and outs of an individual vehicle’s safety system.
RELATED: Learn more about the capabilities and limitations of ADAS.
2. Keep the windshield clean
Vehicles with ADAS cameras located behind the windshield, like those used in this research, “see” the same things a driver does. If the windshield wipers are worn and streak across the window, this could interfere with the system’s performance. Drivers should regularly inspect their wipers and replace them at the first sign of streaking, chattering, or if the blades appear hard and brittle. A good rule of thumb is to replace wipers each year, especially in hot, sunny climates or if a vehicle sits outside all day.
3. Know how to drive safely in wet conditions
Rain presents challenges to drivers regardless of whether their cars have advanced safety systems. AAA recommends using extra caution in slick conditions:
- Keep the windshield clean and ensure that wipers are not streaking.
- Slow down and avoid hard braking and sharp turning.
- If possible, follow in the tracks of other vehicles.
- Increase following distance to 5-6 seconds behind the vehicle ahead.
- Don't use cruise control. Stay alert and respond quickly if the car’s tires lose traction with the road.
- If the car begins to hydroplane, ease off the accelerator to gradually decrease speed until the tires regain traction, and continue to look and steer where you want to go. Don’t jam on the brakes—this can cause further traction loss.