Drivers challenged to make vehicle safety a ‘deal-breaker’
The lobby group ‘Stop the Crash’ is calling on motorists and the car industry to do more to increase the take-up of vehicle safety technologies such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB).
In a press release issued today (4 May), the multi-stakeholder partnership* - which advocates the more widespread use of of crash avoidance technologies - says that if motorists apply pressure by demonstrating that safety is a ‘deal-breaker’, more manufacturers would be encouraged to fit safety technology as standard.
The call follows a consumer study of 2,000 motorists in which 80% of respondents said safety technologies are important when buying a car, but a fifth indicated they were not willing to pay extra for them. In addition, 83% of respondents said the best safety options should be fitted as standard.
Stop the Crash says the take up of safety options remains low, at just 3.5%, and has launched a new three point plan to ‘inspire urgent industry action’ to address this.
The plan centres around AEB being fitted as standard, but also calls for vehicles with safety features to be more readily available at dealerships. It also encourages manufacturers to invest more in training to enable showroom staff to fully explain safety technologies to consumers.
Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, said: “There’s an urgent need to change the consumer mind-set to negotiate for the inclusion of additional safety options, if not standard, just as we would with other consumables or features. Especially when they can cost as little as £200.
“Safety should be a deal-breaker, not a nice to have.”
David Ward, chairman of the Stop the Crash Partnership said, “Consumer awareness is critical for the adoption of Stop the Crash technologies.
“This research shows how important safety is to the consumer, but highlights how this often fails to translate into safety options being purchased in the showroom. Manufacturers must offer safety systems with proven ability to save lives as standard.”
*Stop the Crash partners include Thatcham Research, Bosch UK, Continental Tyres UK and ZF TRW.