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Drivers feel safer with assistance tech but don’t want to pay for it – survey

The blind spot warning system illuminates a small light in the mirror
The blind spot warning system illuminates a small light in the mirror

The vast majority of drivers feel safer behind the wheel in a car fitted with advanced safety systems but nearly half would be happy to buy a model without them fitted, a new survey has found.

Advanced Driver Safety Systems (ADAS) are fitted to many of the latest cars on sale and include a variety of different features including active lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring and speed limit recognition. However, more than a third of drivers admitted to deliberately switching off some of these features because they were ‘annoying’.

The survey of 7,125 drivers by What Car? found that 42 per cent of respondents had ADAS technology in their cars. A similar number of people had none of this technology fitted to their cars, while 17 per cent were unsure whether or not their vehicle had ADAS functions.

Steve Huntingford, What Car? editor, said: “While most drivers feel safer with advanced driver assistance technologies in their cars, a significant proportion have switched them off at some point, suggesting these systems often aren’t as user friendly or intuitive as motorists would like.

“With ADAS due to become mandatory in new cars from July 2024, it will be all the more important that safety bodies like Euro NCAP not only make it clear to car buyer’s how effective each manufacturer’s ADAS tech is, but also whether or not it’s frustrating to use.”

While 58 per cent of those with ADAS-equipped cars said that they felt safer with them fitted, just 34 per cent would rule out a car if it wasn’t fitted with them while 47 per cent said that they would be happy to buy a vehicle which didn’t have ADAS if it meant paying less. That figure rose to 66 per cent for drivers who don’t currently own a car with ADAS systems.