New research from Autoglass shows support for expanding the Ministry of Transport (MOT) test and increasing education on new driver assistance technologies.
Nearly half of U.K. drivers, 48 percent, are in favor 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 U.K. drivers revealed that many are now aware of and using a range of different safety features, with 81 percent of drivers finding them useful. However, 42 percent don’t believe enough is being done to educate the public about the new technologies and 61 percent 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. The survey revealed that a quarter of drivers feel the technology is a ‘distraction’ to them, and one in ten see a potential challenge due to drivers turning them off in annoyance.
Keeping Up With New Technology
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 percent of drivers with cars less than five years old claim to use automatic emergency breaking, compared to 11 percent of those with cars five years or older. The same comparison for blind spot monitors is 28 percent versus 7 percent, and for lane departure warnings is 26 percent versus 6 percent.
Lack of awareness about the need for calibration is also higher among second-hand car buyers who may only be encountering the systems for the first time on their next purchase.
“Driving technologies are evolving quickly and it is heartening that almost half of drivers that use ADAS technologies (49 percent) are recognizing its benefits for safer driving,” says Neil Atherton, sales and marketing director at Autoglass. “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.
“At Autoglass, we are focused on ensuring safety by calibrating the systems that support the sensors that many driver assistance features rely on after a windscreen repair or replacement. However, including a calibration as part of a regular MOT test, or for that matter, a regular vehicle service would be a great way of boosting general awareness. We do not want to reach a situation where a large proportion of drivers on the roads don’t know how to use and maintain the technology in their own vehicles and are putting their safety at risk as a result.”
In addition to updating the MOT, 61 percent agree that it would be helpful to have a central database of the different technologies present in each make and model, for example – to enable repair garages to understand what technology is present.
Overall, however, the public is split on where the responsibility for providing information on the technologies should lie. Autoglass reports that 39 percent believe that the car dealership (or person a vehicle is being bought from) should be responsible, while 30 percent say the onus should be on the driver themselves. Only 7 percent believe the government should be responsible, 4 percent the repair company, and just 2 percent say it should be the insurer.