There is an increasing reliance on safety systems in modern cars that is really starting to concern me.
You can’t sell a new car here without ESP and ABS and a car won’t achieve a five-star rating now without having all the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
And yet the majority of drivers don’t know what they are or how they all work.
Most still don’t know how to use ABS properly which, in my opinion, is the best safety technology in a vehicle.
It helps change the outcome in many situations, helping prevent accidents and injury and yet it’s not being utilised to good effect because people still don’t have even the most basic understanding of how it works.
We are introducing more and more safety technology into cars yet we don’t train people to use it effectively, or inform them properly about how it actually works. When drivers have little knowledge about this tech, this can then become quite dangerous if they start relying on it.
They are expecting it to do things on their behalf, all without understanding its limitations. That’s a concern for me. It takes the focus away from the driver, and their responsibility to remain alert when behind the wheel.
Somehow it’s now okay for them to switch off, and not give the act of driving their full attention.
While these safety systems are now a requirement for a vehicle to gain a top crash rating, most of it has become a necessity to cater for the complete lack of skill on the part of the driver and for their inattention behind the wheel.
We’ve had to add this stuff like autonomous braking to help make us safer because we’ve become more distracted.
But if everyone was trained properly on how to drive safely, knowing the importance of being focused and attentive, then we wouldn’t be at this point where this stuff is now a requirement to keep people safe.
We can see from research into how drivers use these systems that some start to rely on them, allowing the car to take over the responsibility in some respects.
There is this utter belief in a car’s technology from some, particularly when it comes to self driving.
You see people in their Teslas with their arms crossed behind the wheel, letting the car drive down the motorway while their kids are in the back.
If you think the car is going to do a better job of driving than you, you shouldn’t be behind the wheel. That’s just insane and it’s incredibly disrespectful to other road users.
This increasing reliance on safety systems to make up for a lack of driver skill is the wrong direction to be taking. ADAS has its place, but as an assistant in the background, not as a replacement for a well trained and alert driver.
Some are putting too much faith in these systems, content to allow the car to do the driver’s job, without knowing the limitations of the technology.
We should be focusing on improving a driver’s skill rather than relying on this technology.
It’s the driver that is ultimately in charge of the car, especially when these systems go offline in bad weather, when you really need them. Then the control is back to the driver, who is unprepared and suddenly in trouble.