IAM RoadSmart has warned that without better training for drivers, new technologies that are designed to improve safety could in fact become potential hazards.
Some of the most widely known advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) – many of which will become mandatory in new vehicles from July 2022 – include adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking systems and lane keeping assist.
The road safety charity’s call for a ‘comprehensive’ training package follows a report by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), which concludes that awareness and understanding of these systems is generally low among drivers.
The FIA’s report finds that most users do not receive any training when first encountering ADAS but have to rely on information from the user manual, and by applying a ‘trial-and-error’ method.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and 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.”