Drivers encourage MOT update

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 many of us are now aware of, and are using, a range of different safety features, with the majority (81%) finding them useful.  Yet, 42% don’t believe enough is being done to educate the public about these new technologies.

Of those surveyed, 61% were 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, as neglecting to calibrate could result in the systems failing to warn drivers, or take the corrective action necessary to avoid a collision.

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.

A significant number of respondents also appear not to be making the most of their safety technology. The survey revealed that a quarter 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.

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.

Despite this, 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 liability should be on the driver themselves. Only seven per cent believe the government should be responsible, four per cent the repair company; and just two per cent say it should be the insurer.