WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

AAA Finds Renters Drive Safer Than Car Owners When it Comes to Driver Assistance Technology

Play Audio

Renters drive safer when it comes to using cruise control and lane assist. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

AAA found people renting cars over the holidays in Central Florida might actually drive safer than the people who own the same cars.

That’s because people using advanced driver assistance technology are more vigilant while testing it out. 

Researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety studied videos of two groups of drivers over a four week period.

AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said they found people who rent a car with cruise control or lane assist stay in a novelty phase when they don’t trust the technology and stay active drivers. 

Jenkins says people who are experienced users of the technology tend to over-rely on it and are twice as likely to engage in distracted driving.

“These technologies-they’re not meant to replace the driver. They’re available to assist the drivers. Drivers just need to remain alert and attentive to the forward roadway at all times. So that’s irregardless of whether these systems are engaged or not.”

But Jenkins says this doesn’t mean theme park enthusiasts renting a car are in the clear-they should still test out any new technology before they get behind the wheel.

“There are different settings for each of these systems. And so you want to make sure that you know exactly what the limitations are before you get behind the wheel and you get into a situation where you could potentially cause damage to your vehicle or even the occupants of the vehicle.”

Other studies of pilots and nuclear technicians found similar results, with people over-relying on automated systems.

If you’d like to listen to the story, please click on the clip above.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur


Danielle Prieur is a general reporter for 90.7 News. She studied journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and interned at 101.9 WDET. She is originally from the metro Detroit area.