New data shows that 66% of drivers have automated technology in their cars, with nearly a third (31%) admitting that 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 Quotezone.co.uk, reveals how much Brits rely 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 they use assisted car tech 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.
These technological crutches could make people worse drivers, and any accidents caused while using this tech could land motorists with costly penalties.
Rule 150 of the Highway Code, drivers are responsible for their car while using any driver assistance system.
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 ensure it isn’t distracting them while driving.
Regarding insurance premiums, drivers are warned to ensure their provider knows all the 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 reduce premium prices, so although many modern vehicles now include them as standard, it’s worth checking to ensure the insurer is fully informed.
Due to developments in automated car tech, the motoring industry is moving towards manufacturing fully self-driving cars.
Insurance providers will likely be liable for claims in these vehicles while the artificial intelligence is driving unless it is not adequately insured. Then, the car’s owner will be responsible.
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 driver’s control by automated car systems. This raises a question about whether this makes us worse drivers, considering many of us no longer practice 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.
“Regarding insurance, any drivers adding car technology systems must inform their insurance provider. 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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