A new survey by Brake suggests safety features are a lower priority than reliability and fuel economy for drivers when choosing a vehicle.
Just under half of the 1,000 drivers surveyed (48%) named safety as one of their three most important considerations, and among young drivers (17-24yrs) this fell to 37%.
The survey suggest that ‘infotainment’ systems, which allow access to social media and other functions unrelated to driving, are becoming an increasing factor in young drivers decision making. 21% of young drivers surveyed said they wanted such a system, and 17% said it is one of their most important features in choosing a vehicle.
The survey also showed a lack of engagement among all drivers with industry safety standards such as Euro NCAP – less than a quarter (23%) of those surveyed said it was something they looked for in a new vehicle.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, said: “Vehicle safety technology has come on leaps and bounds, and a large part of the casualty reductions we have seen in recent decades are likely to be attributable to this.
“It is important that all drivers take advantage of these advances as much as possible, to protect both themselves and the people around them on foot and bike.
“When choosing a vehicle to drive on public roads, safety should always be the number one consideration. However, any vehicle is ultimately only ever as safe as the person driving it, and choosing the safest possible vehicle still needs to be combined with legal, considerate driving.”