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PARKING SENSORS TO ASSISTED PARKING: Two thirds of drivers risk over-reliance on automated car tech

New data shows 66% of drivers have automated technology in their cars, with nearly a third (31%) admitting they think this modern technology, such as parking sensors and assisted parking, is making people worse at driving.

In addition to this, 15% confess to heavily relying on the features each time they get behind the wheel.

The survey, by car insurance comparison experts at, reveals just how much Brits are relying on car automation systems when driving, risking penalty points or even disqualification.

As car technology (tech) becomes more advanced and the industry moves towards fully automated vehicles, novice motorists are not gaining the experience of basic skills - with 37% stating the reason they use assisted car tech is because it makes driving easier.

Half of drivers (50%) say they use the assisted features every time they drive and 25% say they always use it to park – fundamental driving skills like parallel parking, speed control and timely braking are all taken out of the driver's control.

Not only could these technological crutches make people worse drivers, but any accidents caused while using this tech could land motorists with costly penalties.

Under rule 150 of the Highway Code, it states that drivers are responsible for their car while using any driver assistance systems.

This means drivers must always have control over these systems and cannot hold the car technology responsible for any accidents.

Despite 43% of drivers saying they feel safer in the car when using these features, 34% of drivers find touch screens distracting when driving.

Driving without due care and attention carries a penalty of either a disqualification, or between three and nine points, so those relying heavily on their tech should make sure it isn’t distracting them while driving.

When it comes to insurance premiums, drivers are warned to make sure their provider is aware of all automated tech in their car.

Features like parking sensors can be considered a modification, all modifications need to be declared to the provider or they could risk invalidating the policy. Having sensors can actually reduce premium prices, so although many modern vehicles now include them as standard, it’s certainly worth checking to make sure the insurer is fully informed.

Due to developments in automated car tech, the motoring industry is moving towards manufacturing fully self-driving cars.

In these vehicles, insurance providers will likely be liable for claims while the artificial intelligence is driving unless it is not properly insured, then the car's owner will be liable.

Greg Wilson, CEO of car insurance comparison site, 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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