Drivers call on Government to ensure high car safety standards post-Brexit

News from Brake
14 February 2019
 
Drivers across the UK are calling on the Government to ensure high car safety standards post Brexit, according to a new report published by Brake, the road safety charity, and Direct Line. The report, based on a survey of more than 2,000 UK drivers [1], found that more than 9 in 10 want car safety standards in the UK to remain at least as high as those across the EU, post Brexit [2].
 
The report comes as EU vehicle safety is set for a giant leap forward, with a crunch European Parliament vote on new safety regulations taking place on 21 February. The new regulations seek to mandate life-saving technology, including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), and Lane Keep Assistance (LKA), on all future new vehicles entering the European market [3]. Conservative estimates predict the life-saving potential of these measures as preventing 25,000 deaths and 140,000 serious injuries from 2022-2037 [4].
 
Moves to mandate vehicle technologies are widely supported amongst UK drivers, with nearly 9 in 10 agreeing that all new cars should be fitted with the latest life-saving safety features as standard [5]. The report also found that more than half of drivers would not spend more on a new car to ensure it had AEB, ISA or LKA [6], highlighting how the EU’s regulatory action can help deliver the life-saving potential of these technologies for all.
 
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
“As 29 March edges ever closer, UK drivers have made clear that, post-Brexit, they want the cars on our roads to meet the highest safety standards possible – but they don’t want the money in their pockets to take a hit.  
 
“The EU is taking bold steps to transform road safety by seeking to mandate life-saving vehicle technology, taking the onus off drivers and placing it on manufacturers. Drivers want these technologies to be fit as standard and so we urge our representatives in the European Parliament to listen and give these measures their full support. The opportunity to prevent 25,000 road deaths is there for the taking and they must grasp it with both hands.
 
“The UK has committed to be at the cutting edge of vehicle development with huge investment in connected and autonomous vehicles – technologies which have the potential to eliminate driver error and save countless lives. It would be a tragedy if the Government allowed the safety of vehicles on our roads to lag behind those in Europe and so it is vital that these ground-breaking EU standards are maintained, or improved, in the UK, post-Brexit.”
 
Commenting, Neil Ingram, Head of Motor Product Management at Direct Line Insurance, said:
“This important report provides a mixed picture. There is clearly appetite for ADAS features but overall awareness of what they can offer today's driver is perhaps not as widespread as it could be. And while people buy cars for a number of reasons, the safety benefits of ADAS do not motivate consumers as much as other factors when making a purchase. However, research and development costs are significant and it’s important to enable and sustain this age of motor vehicle innovation and ensure a balance is met. Manufacturers still need to be able to innovate and vehicles to remain affordable ensuring that motorists are able to make informed choices.”
 
ENDS
 
Notes to editors
 
[1] Survey of 2010 drivers, undertaken by external research agency Surveygoo in 2018 and contained within Brake and Direct Line report on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.
 
[2] Q5c.

Post-Brexit, car safety standards in the UK should stay at least as high as those across the wider EU

Percentage

No. of respondents

Strongly agree

57.96 %

1165

Agree

32.74 %

658

Disagree

2.69 %

54

 Strongly disagree

1.00 %

20

I don't know

5.62 %

113

Total

100%

2010

 
[3]
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is a system that combines sensing of the environment ahead of the vehicle with the automatic activation of the brakes, without driver input, to mitigate or avoid a crash. AEB detects the possibility of a crash, warns the driver and, if the driver takes no action, automatically applies the vehicle’s brakes.
  • Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) helps a driver keep within speed limits by warning the driver when the speed limit is exceeded, or by actively reducing the vehicle’s speed.
  • Lane Keep Assistance (LKA) helps the driver to stay in their lane. When the vehicle drifts out of the lane, LKA gently guides the vehicle back into the lane by either turning the steering wheel or engaging the brakes on one side of the vehicle.
 
[5] Q5a

All new cars should be fitted with the latest life-saving safety features as standard

Percentage

No. of respondents

Strongly agree

54.83 %

1102

Agree

33.98 %

683

Disagree

5.92 %

119

Strongly disagree

0.75 %

15

I don't know

4.53 %

91

Total

100%

2010

 
[6] Questions 2-4

If you were buying a new car, would you spend more to ensure it had …?

AEB

LKA

ISA

Yes (probably and definitely)

42.64 %

35.87 %

42.04 %

No (probably and definitely)

32.24 %

42.39 %

38.66 %

I'm not sure

25.12 %

21.74 %

19.30 %

 
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.  We do this through  national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
 
About Direct Line
Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or online.
Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com.

Tags: road safety ADAS brexit cav