As automated driving evolves with new technology, and the potential for driverless cars becomes a real possibility, a recent study suggests we’re already driving on autopilot. The research also shows that there is a marked difference between men and women when it comes to their current distractions on the road.
The research has been carried out by Continental Tyres as part of their ‘Vision Zero’ commitment to cut the number of accidents via pioneering tire technologies and automotive systems. This is inspired by the Swedish ‘Vision Zero’ program, which is based on the premise that no loss of life on the roads is acceptable and systems should be designed with the idea of making the roads as safe as possible. The purpose of the research is to inform road safety experts and work towards safer driving conditions. This vision is also supported by road safety charity Brake.
The Dangers of Driving on Autopilot
As many as eight in ten drivers admit to driving on autopilot at times, with several respondents reporting having no recollection of some journeys. Common distractions among men are music and podcasts, whilst women report making mental shopping lists while driving. Men were less concerned than women about zoning out, with over 40 percent not worried by it compared to less than 20 percent of women. Women tended to be more distracted on side roads, whereas men were more likely to zone out on motorways. Being distracted at the wheel can be very dangerous and have an impact on reaction times if anything out of the ordinary occurs.
As automation creeps into the technology of new cars, with automated parking just the beginning, there is potentially even less to hold our concentration whilst driving. If you are concerned about the safety of your car and are looking to invest in a new one, companies specialize in car finance.
So when considering safety on our roads, we must get can use new technology to our benefit without a negative effect on our concentration. Keeping drivers in control and aware of their responsibilities behind the wheel is vital, whatever new technology might bring.