IAM Roadsmart is calling for “comprehensive” training on the use of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), such as adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking.
The road safety charity believes car manufacturers, dealerships, driving instructiors and the DVSA have a duty to inform drivers how to use ADAS correctly.
It follows the publication of a highly influential report by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) entitled ‘How to maximize the road safety benefits of ADAS’, which found that most users do not receive any training when first encountering ADAS but have to rely on information from the user manual, and most alarmingly by applying a ‘trial-and-error’ method.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy & Research, said: “Advanced driver assistance systems have the potential to improve road safety, but only if used correctly.
“If used incorrectly, not least without a full understanding of what the systems are and are not capable of, they can have the opposite effect, with potentially worrying consequences for all road users.
“IAM RoadSmart therefore believes the time has now come to include a comprehensive lesson from every car dealer supplying vehicles and further, for more about ADAS to be included in the UK driving test. This is crucial as these tools begin to be supplied as standard on an increasing number of vehicles.”
Research from Autoglass found that almost a quarter (24%) of drivers with ADAS enabled vehicles said they were not provided with any information about the importance of these features and how they work when they had the vehicle handed over to them.
The survey of almost 1,400 drivers also found that 41% intentionally switch off safety systems such as AEB or lane departure warning systems, while driving.
IAM RoadSmart is exploring the potential for video tutorials that will plug the current gap.