UK drivers are switching off Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in their vehicles, mitigating their benefits and increasing the risk of accidents on the road, research by Autoglass®, the UK’s leading glass repair, replacement and recalibration specialist has found.
The research, of 1,387 UK drivers, found that 41% of drivers intentionally switch off safety systems such as Autonomous Emergency Braking or Lane Deviation Warning whilst driving. The number of fleet vehicles fitted with ADAS is increasing, but the research shows that there is still a lack of knowledge and awareness about how to properly use and maintain the systems.
Education can play a key role in ensuring fleet drivers appreciate the benefits of these safety systems. However, nearly a quarter (24%) of drivers with ADAS enabled vehicles said they were not provided with any information about the importance of these features and how they work when they had the vehicle handed over to them.
The cameras and sensors that ADAS relies on need to be recalibrated to manufacturer standards if they have been impacted by a windscreen replacement, and in some cases body damage, to ensure the features are working correctly. However, 55% were unaware that they need to be recalibrated when the windscreen is replaced and over half (52%) of drivers are unaware that the cameras may need to be recalibrated if they have been impacted by body repair work. When asked two thirds (67%) of drivers agreed that more education is needed around the importance of ensuring this technology is properly maintained.
The increasing number of ADAS enabled vehicles in UK fleets has inevitably led to an increase in demand for recalibration which, in the majority of cases, needs to be carried out in controlled environments. In response to this, Autoglass® has opened 12 new centres this year, taking the total number of centres in the UK to 90, to ensure that fleets are able to have their systems recalibrated safely and accurately. The new centres have been opened across the UK including Reading, Derby, Carlisle and Banbury.
The majority of these new centres are pods located in more convenient and accessible locations, including retail centres and supermarket car parks. These locations have been chosen to provide fleets with a more convenient service, and all centres offer windscreen repair and replacements, ADAS recalibration and replacement wiper blades. Autoglass® has also introduced an additional sanitisation service, Full Interior, to protect drivers by enhancing the existing cleaning procedures carried out by technicians. This service is in addition to Standard Touchpoint cleaning, which involves all vehicle touchpoints that the technician comes into contact with during a repair or replacement being cleaned with a disinfectant both before and after the appointment.
Neil Atherton, Sales and Marketing Director, Autoglass® commented:
“ADAS can help keep drivers and passengers safe, but only if the technology is switched on and operating correctly. ADAS is becoming more and more common in UK fleets and so more should be done to educate drivers, to encourage positive behaviour and ensure the systems are being used correctly. Fleet managers have a responsibility to not only help drivers understand the benefits of these systems but also to review their supply chain to ensure the vehicles are being maintained to the correct standards.
“It is paramount that fleet managers have a trusted partner who can carry out the recalibrations to industry standards. This year, Autoglass® has continued our commitment to driver safety by expanding our market-leading service to new locations across the country, to ensure we are available wherever your fleet may need us. Looking ahead to 2021, we are continuing our plans of opening more centres to ensure we are doing all we can to keep fleet drivers safe on the roads.”