Life-saving technology switched off by annoyed drivers

 Published 30th January 2024
Company Fleet  General Guides 

Drivers are routinely switching off life-saving technology in their cars because they find the alerts or intervention annoying.

Researchers discovered that 41% of drivers have reached for the off switch on their car safety systems, even though 82% say the safety rating is a key factor when sourcing a vehicle.

The findings raise important concerns for SME fleets as business owners work to prevent costly incidents on the road, only to find investments in technology are being silenced by drivers.

Male drivers are most likely to mute their alerts, including lane-keeping assistance and reversing cameras or sensors, although barely one-third of drivers are aware of all the safety features fitted to their vehicle.

Road safety campaigners say annoying bongs and pings are preferable to vehicle dents and dings, especially because technology could protect drivers and other road users from serious harm.

A spokesperson for road safety charity Brake, which carried out the research with insurance firm Axa, said: “Advanced vehicle technology can play a significant role in improving road safety.”

Brake also called for the government to make a greater number of safety features mandatory amid a rise in road deaths and injuries.

They are urging the government to launch a public awareness and education campaign to help people understand the safety benefits of technology that is already available, and for vehicle sellers and manufacturers to take responsibility for educating people when they buy vehicles.

Axa’s commercial CEO Jon Walker said: “Technology has the potential to significantly reduce collisions and make our roads safer. It is therefore worrying to see so many people switching off features on their cars that are designed to keep them safe. In other European countries, these features are mandatory so we urge the Government to put safety at the heart of its roads policy and ensure the public fully understands the benefits this technology can offer.”

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