Developments in road safety have taken a huge leap forward with a landmark EU proposal to mandate the fitting of lifesaving technologies, including Advanced Emergency Braking and Intelligent Speed Assistance, in all new cars.

The proposal is part of the European Commission’s Third Mobility Package, a set of measures with the aim of allowing all drivers to benefit from safer traffic, less polluting vehicles and more advanced technological solutions.

A survey of more than 2,000 drivers by road safety organisation Brake and the insurer Direct Line has found overwhelming support for the move, with 90% of drivers polled agreeing that all new cars should be fitted with the latest lifesaving safety features as standard.

However, the survey also highlighted a lack of awareness about AEB and ISA, and a reluctance to buy them as optional extras:

  • 58% of drivers said they didn’t know what AEB was.  When the technology was explained, only 15% thought their car was fitted with AEB, with 12% unsure.
  • 67% of drivers said they didn’t know what ISA was.  When the technology was explained, only 15% thought their car was fitted with ISA, with 7% unsure.
  • 90% of drivers agreed that all new cars should be fitted with the latest lifesaving safety features as standard.  However, the majority of drivers said if they were buying a new car, they would not spend more to ensure it had AEB or ISA technology.

This bolsters the Commission’s case that mandating these technologies is the best way to get them on our roads.

“These technologies are proven to save lives, so this announcement should be warmly welcomed by all who are truly committed to improving road safety,” Joshua Harris, Brake’s Director of Campaigns, said.  “Drivers want their vehicles to be safe, but the reality is they rarely opt to spend more on safety features as optional extras.  This decision puts the onus for safety back on car manufacturers and, in one swoop, will dramatically improve the safety of our roads forever.”

Neil Ingram, Head of Motor Product Management at Direct Line, added: “With improvements in the road casualty rate stalling, the fitting of AEB and ISA as standard on all new cars has the potential to be the step-change in road safety we have been looking for.  Such technologies can also continue the progression and growth, as well as driver acceptance, of semi-autonomous vehicles and the benefits in safety they can bring.”

Added: 04 June 2018

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