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Drivers ‘distracted’ by in-car technology

Sat navs and CD players among distractions

CD players can be a distraction for drivers

CD players can be a distraction for drivers

A new survey shows almost half of motorists are seriously distracted by in-car technology.

Worst affected are 17-24-year-old drivers, with 55% admitting they can be distracted by in-car entertainment systems such as the CD player or radio.

The RAC survey also shows that about a third of all drivers are put off by portable devices such as sat navs and mobile phones.

Air conditioning

Heating and air conditioning controls proved a distraction for 35% of the drivers surveyed.

And of the 1,034 motorists questioned by the motoring organisation, 85% think drivers should be taught how to use in-car technology properly.

The RAC’s technical director David Bizley said: ‘In-car technology has come a long way since the late eighties. The advances have fallen into two camps – active and passive.

‘Active technologies such as in-car entertainment are not always positive as they can cause driver distraction, while passive technologies, such as anti-locking brake systems (ABS), are undervalued as they are not fully understood or deemed less important as they come on automatically.’

ABS and immobilisers

By law, ABS and immobilisers are fitted as standard on new cars. But the RAC’s survey shows only 70% of the drivers with ABS know it is fitted on their cars. Just 68% of those drivers with an immobiliser know about it.

The survey also revealed what technology drivers think we will have installed on our cars in 20 years time.

A resounding 71% believe cars will be able to warn drivers when they exceed the speed limit, and 35% think cars will communicate with one another to pinpoint and avoid traffic.

If you’re not sure which sat nav to buy, our sat nav reviews will tell you all you need to know about models from the likes of TomTomGarmin and Nokia.


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