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Motorists concerned that automated vehicle technology is pushing down driving skills



A recent survey reveals a growing concern over the impact of automated technology in vehicles on driving skills.


According to the survey conducted by Quotezone.co.uk, an overwhelming 66% of drivers now have cars equipped with automation systems such as parking sensors and assisted parking, yet nearly a third believe that these conveniences are detracting from their driving abilities.

A striking 15% of motorists confess to depending on these technological aids every time they drive, highlighting a potential risk of accruing penalty points or even facing disqualification for over-reliance on such features. The advancement towards fully automated vehicles seems to exacerbate the issue, with 37% of novice drivers using assisted technology to ease the driving process, potentially missing out on mastering fundamental skills.


The statistics are telling: half of the respondents use assisted features routinely, with a quarter specifically depending on them for parking. This reliance suggests a diminishing proficiency in essential driving techniques like parallel parking, speed management, and braking, which are crucial for safe driving.


The reliance on technology does not come without its pitfalls. Accidents caused while using these aids could result in severe financial penalties for drivers. According to the Highway Code's rule 150, drivers must maintain control over their vehicle's assisted systems at all times, taking full responsibility for any incidents.


Despite 43% of motorists feeling more secure using these features, the distraction caused by touch screens is a concern for 34% of drivers. With penalties for driving without due care and attention ranging from disqualification to the accrual of points, the necessity for drivers to manage their reliance on technology becomes evident.


Insurance implications are also significant. Drivers are urged to inform their insurance providers about any automated technology in their vehicles, as failing to do so might invalidate their policies. Interestingly, features like parking sensors could potentially lower insurance premiums, provided they are declared.

Greg Wilson, CEO of car insurance comparison site Quotezone.co.uk, said: “Our survey results show the majority of people have some sort of automated technology in their cars, and many of them are relying on it regularly when it comes to basic driving skills. 

 

“Things like parallel parking, timely braking, cruise control and navigation have all been taken out of the drivers control by automated car systems. This raises a question around whether this is making us worse drivers, considering many of us are no longer practicing driving skills to complete these, sometimes tricky, manoeuvres. 

 

“Within our survey, 12% said with the advanced car technology they found themselves looking away from the road more often. Drivers must ensure they are following the Highway Code and that none of these assisted features are causing a distraction or lack of concentration. Failure to do so could land them with hefty fines, points on their license or even disqualification.

 

“When it comes to insurance, any drivers adding car technology systems must let their insurance provider know. This ensures their policy is accurate and up to date – failure to do so could lead to a void policy, leaving drivers unprotected should they need to make a claim.”

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