IAM calls for greater education on in-car technologies

08.42 | 3 September 2020 | | 2 comments

Government and vehicle manufacturers should enforce greater education of new in-car technology before drivers leave the forecourts or take delivery of their new vehicle, a leading road safety charity has suggested.

Data from research commissioned by IAM RoadSmart earlier this year revealed that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto significantly affect drivers’ reaction times and increase stopping distances.

In fact, the research shows that these systems can impair reaction times behind the wheel more than alcohol and cannabis use.

IAM RoadSmart says anything that distracts a driver’s eye or mind from the road is bad news for road safety.

It is calling on car dealers to educate motorists on how to correctly use new in-car infotainment systems, so that they are a safety benefit and not a ‘potentially dangerous distraction’.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, said: “Now is the perfect opportunity to highlight the importance of correctly using the latest in-car technology with the arrival of the new registration plate on 1st September.

“Driver distraction is estimated to be a factor in around a third of all road collisions in Europe each year.

“We believe car dealers have a responsibility to correctly educate their customers and ensure they are familiar with all the high-tech systems in their shiny new purchase before they leave the forecourt. 

“It is also imperative that the Government and the vehicle manufacturers enforce and support this.”



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    Also worth mentioning that if one is hiring/borrowing (courtesy car for example) one shouldn’t just turn the key and drive away without familiarising one-self with all the controls.

    I once had a courtesy car which seemed (to me) to be stalling every time it stopped.. it was only when I returned it that I found out it had an automatic stop/start feature!

    On Iain’s point, knowing the how to manual overide an automatic is not essential (defeats the point somewhat) and I wouldn’t say that it was critical to know this for a first-time user… it would be in the handbook anyway.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (1) | Disagree (5)

    I’m not holding out a lot of hope on this one. We regularly ask drivers of automatics if they were given any guidance or advice about how to use the lockdown / manual functions of their car when picking it up from a dealer. The answer is invariably ‘no.’ If a way can be found to enforce the issue that would be great, but it is unlikely that the manufacturing or retail sectors will lead. I believe there is a role for RS partnerships to be lobbying in these arenas; the time spent doing this would be just as valuable as direct education.

    Iain Temperton, Norwich
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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