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    • Almost half of UK motorists call for a shake-up to the MOT to include the latest safety features

6 November 2017

Almost half of UK motorists call for a shake-up to the MOT to include the latest safety features

New research from Autoglass shows support for expanding the MOT test and more education on new driver assistance technologies 

Nearly half of UK drivers (48%) are in favour of updating the standard MOT test to cover increasingly common driver assistance technologies, according to the latest research commissioned by Autoglass. 

A survey of 1,000 UK drivers  revealed that while many are now aware of, and using, a range of different safety features, with the majority (81%) finding them useful.  However, 42% don't believe enough is being done to educate the public about the new technologies and 61% are unaware that they rely on sensors which may need to be calibrated after work has been done on their vehicle.

This could have severe implications for safety because neglecting to calibrate could result in the systems failing to warn drivers or take the corrective action necessary to avoid a collision. 

A sizeable proportion of respondents also appear not to be making the most of the safety technology by operating them to their full potential. The survey revealed that a quarter (25%) of drivers feel the technology is a ˜distraction' to them, and one in ten (10%) see a potential challenge due to drivers turning them off in annoyance.

Keeping up with new technology

The survey results highlighted the speed at which many motorists have had to get to grips with the new technologies appearing on the market. For example, 34% of drivers with cars less than five years old claim to use automatic emergency breaking, compared to 11% of those with cars five years or older. The same comparison for blind spot monitors is 28% vs. 7%, and for lane departure warnings 26% vs. 6%. 

Lack of awareness of the need for calibration is also higher among second-hand car buyers (68%) who may only be encountering the systems for the first time on their next purchase. 

Neil Atherton, Sales and Marketing Director at Autoglass stated: Driving technologies are evolving quickly and it is heartening that almost half of drivers that use ADAS technologies (49%) are recognising their benefits for safer driving. However, the lack of awareness on the need for proper maintenance is concerning, but not surprising, given how quickly many of them have been introduced to the market. 

At Autoglass, we are focused on ensuring safety by calibrating the systems that support the sensors that many driver assistance features rely on after a windscreen repair or replacement. However, including a calibration as part of a regular MOT test, or for that matter, a regular vehicle service would be a great way of boosting general awareness. We do not want to reach a situation where a large proportion of drivers on the roads don't know how to use and maintain the technology in their own vehicles and are putting their safety at risk as a result. 

In addition to updating the MOT, 61% agree that it would be helpful to have a central database of the different technologies present in each make and model of car, for example - to enable repair garages to understand what technology is present. 

Overall, however, the public is split on where the responsibility for providing information on the technologies should lie. 39% believe that the car dealership (or person a vehicle is being bought from) should be responsible, while 30% say the onus should be on the driver themselves. Only 7% believe the government should be responsible, 4% the repair company; and just 2% say it should be the insurer. 

Neil Atherton added: Everyone must play their part to prevent this from becoming a major safety issue, including the manufacturers, the dealerships and the individual drivers. Constant training and awareness is needed, and so depending on just one aspect of the market puts too big a risk on the driver's safety. 

Steps should be put in place to ensure all drivers are educated properly, but it is also important that anyone operating a vehicle takes the time to learn about all the technology at their disposal, as ultimately they are there to maintain your safety and the safety of your fellow road users. 

*Research study was commissioned by Autoglass and completed by OnePoll in October, 2017. 1,000 UK drivers were surveyed.

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