Effective April 22, 2024, we are relocating our Wilmington, Delaware office to the following New Castle location:

10 Corporate Circle, Suite 301
New Castle, DE 19720


Can Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems Fail in Poor Weather?


Safety systems and devices in modern vehicles are becoming more robust and complex. Currently, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in newer vehicles provide a significant amount of aid to drivers, preventing many car accidents and injuries.

ADAS are designed to work in all types of road conditions. However, a recent study published by the American Automobile Association (AAA) has found that some auto safety systems may not work as well during periods of heavy rain.

ADAS technology includes tools, devices, and computer programs designed to work together to automate and augment vehicle safety by alerting the driver to potential problems. This technology makes driving safer overall by using computer programs and algorithms, which are much faster than a driver’s reaction time. A computer can sense an obstacle and hit the brakes within a fraction of a second.

AAA researchers, in collaboration with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, performed extensive tests on various modern vehicles that have ADAS. These vehicles were tested under many road conditions and weather scenarios. What AAA researchers found was that during heavy downpours, some of the ADAS did not work properly or at all. For example, the automatic emergency braking (AEB) system sensors did not register or “see” the cars in front during heavy rainfall. Also, lane assist systems did not work as well as it should have during heavy downpours.

During the different tests, lane keeping systems did not perform properly in 17 percent of tests under ideal road conditions. Lane keeping systems had a failure rate of 69 percent in poor weather. Cars equipped with forward emergency braking that traveled at 25 miles per hour collided with a stopped vehicle 17 percent of the time. At 35 miles per hour, the vehicles collided at 33 percent of the time.

How Can Drivers Stay Safe in Heavy Rain?

Even though ADAS help drivers stay safe, motorists should not rely on technology. According to the AAA, you should take these steps to stay safe in poor weather conditions:

  • Keep your windshield clean.
  • Make sure your wipers are working properly.
  • Maintain your brakes.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit.
  • Maintain at least four car lengths of distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you.
  • Put your phone away, and do not drive while distracted.
  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Be patient.
  • Do not respond to an angry driver.
  • Avoid driving altogether if weather conditions are particularly poor.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Drivers Injured in Weather-Related Collisions

Although ADAS are important for driving safety, you should not rely on technology to avoid a car accident. If you were injured by a negligent driver in a weather-related collision, our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form today to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.