Nearly half of UK drivers (48%) are in favour of updating the standard MOT test to cover increasingly common driver assistance technologies, according to the latest research commissioned by Autoglass.
A survey of 1,000 UK drivers revealed that many are now aware of, and using, a range of different safety features, with the majority (81%) finding them useful.
However, 42% don’t believe enough is being done to educate the public about the new technologies and 61% are unaware that they rely on sensors which may need to be calibrated after work has been done on their vehicle.
This could have severe implications for safety because neglecting to calibrate could result in the systems failing to warn drivers or take the corrective action necessary to avoid a collision.
A sizeable proportion of respondents also appear not to be making the most of the safety technology by operating them to their full potential. The survey revealed that a quarter (25%) of drivers feel the technology is a ‘distraction’ to them, and one in ten (10%) see a potential challenge due to drivers turning them off in annoyance.
The survey results highlighted the speed at which many motorists have had to get to grips with the new technologies appearing on the market. For example, 34% of drivers with cars less than five years old claim to use automatic emergency breaking, compared to 11% of those with cars five years or older. The same comparison for blind spot monitors is 28% vs. 7%, and for lane departure warnings 26% vs. 6%.
Lack of awareness of the need for calibration is also higher among second-hand car buyers (68%) who may only be encountering the systems for the first time on their next purchase.
Neil Atherton, sales and marketing director at Autoglass, said: “Driving technologies are evolving quickly and it is heartening that almost half of drivers that use ADAS technologies (49%) are recognising their benefits for safer driving. However, the lack of awareness on the need for proper maintenance is concerning, but not surprising, given how quickly many of them have been introduced to the market.
“Everyone must play their part to prevent this from becoming a major safety issue, including the manufacturers, the dealerships and the individual drivers. Constant training and awareness is needed, and so depending on just one aspect of the market puts too big a risk on the driver’s safety.”