I have talked quite a lot in recent weeks about new car technology and I don’t think that it is any secret that I want a robot which controls the vehicle while I go for a nap or eat some fatty snacks.
However, the rather grand sounding Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety has made me think again. Robert Gifford is the executive director of said body and he said that the fact that we drive cars which are safer all the time has a “carcooning” effect on us…
This statement came on the back of recent figures which confirmed that the number of vulnerable road users such as cyclists who are getting hurt or killed is on the rise. In the 12 months up to March of this year a total of over 6,000 bike users got badly injured or killed in accidents, which is an increase of 11%.
When it comes to pedestrians and motorcycle users the amount of bad accidents increased by 6%.
Better Protected Than Ever Before
The fact that we now use such fancy safety technology as air bags, smart seat belts and blind spot detectors has been suggested as one of the reasons why this has happened. Simon Best is the chief executive of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and he said that “more must be done” in order for motorists to think more about road users who are more vulnerable than them. He talked about changing the driving test and providing better law enforcement as well as giving incentives for drivers to get more training.
The number of deaths coming from drink driving incidents rose by 12% in the same period, from 250 to 280.
Do you find that modern safety features and technology cut you off from the real world while you drive? If you do then it is time to think twice before you head out in your car next time.