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Drivers with advanced safety tech in their vehicles are taking more risks

Are We Driving Dumber In Smarter Cars?

Americans who drive vehicles equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) or Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), both advanced driver assist features, admit to using their smart phones while driving at significantly higher rates than those without the latest tech, according to a new State Farm survey.

While these features have promising safety benefits,  they are designed to work in conjunction with engaged driving behaviors.

Forty-two percent of drivers with Lane Keeping Assist tech stated they “frequently” or “sometimes” use video chat while driving compared to 20 percent who engaged in the risky behavior without the advanced technology.


Survey data breakdown by distracted behavior and advanced vehicle technology:

“Innovations such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist are designed to make our roadways safer,” said Laurel Straub, State Farm Assistant Vice President, Enterprise Research. “These systems are meant to assist drivers, not replace them.”


When will the car drive itself?

Not any time soon. There will have to be more tech advances before we see fully automated vehicles on our roadways.

The highest level of automation available on the consumer market today is Level Two. At this level, the vehicle can control steering, braking, and accelerating in certain scenarios. Only a subset of new vehicles sold to the general public today are equipped with Level Two features. However, the human driver MUST pay attention at all times and still perform the remainder of the driving. (NHTSA)

Two of those features, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) were explored in this survey. ACC, in certain situations, enables your vehicle to automatically adjust its speed to maintain a specific distance behind another vehicle. LKA, in certain situations, enables your vehicle to automatically steer within your lane.

“Advances in vehicle technology are occurring rapidly,” Straub continued. “Even with these technologies in place, it’s important for drivers to pay attention when behind the wheel.”

Half of all respondents also said they would be willing to take their eyes off the road for less than five seconds to focus on another task. All while driving on an open highway at 65 mph. At that speed, you can drive the length of a football field in 3.2 seconds. Anything can happen in 100 yards.


11 tips on how to be as smart as your smart car while you drive

  1. Do not read or send text messages
  2. Do not update social media
  3. Do not access the internet
  4. Do not talk on the phone unless it's connected to the car audio
  5. Do not check or send emails
  6. Do not take selfies or film videos
  7. Do not enter destinations into GPS while the car is moving
  8. Keep your phone out of reach (glove compartment, purse, etc.). Pull over and park in a safe location if it is necessary to use your phone.
  9. Ask your passenger to make a call or text for you.
  10. Set your phone to send an automatic reply while you are driving.
  11. Do nothing that takes your attention away from your number one task -- driving safe.

Still fighting the urge to pick up your phone while driving?  Apps like State Farm Drive Safe & Save are designed to help you improve your driving habits. 


About State Farm®:

For over 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its more than 19,400 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 91 million policies and accounts – including auto, fire, lifehealth, commercial policies and financial services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for rentersbusiness ownersboats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the 2023 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit

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