A major new safety technology frequently fails to work as promised, according to a new study by the AAA, leading to parking lot crashes and injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists.
The problem is complicated by the fact that more than three quarters of U.S. drivers “park incorrectly,” the road service and safety organization reported. That further enhances the risk of accidents in parking lots, according to the AAA study.
“Recognizing that American parking habits differ from much of the world, automakers are increasingly adding technology to vehicles that is designed to address rear visibility concerns,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “However, AAA’s testing of these systems reveals significant shortcomings when used in real-world conditions and Americans should rely more on driving skills than technology.”
The root of the problem is the way Americans typically park in shopping center and mall lots, 76% pulling forward, rather than backing into spots. That practice leaves pedestrians and bicyclists more vulnerable, while increasing the risk of a driver backing out into traffic.