Less than 1/3 of drivers familiar with modern safety systems
By Mark Atkinson for MSN Autos
Well, isn't this interesting. According to a study done by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) and Toyota Canada, the number of Canadian drivers who are familiar with the modern auto safety systems is less than one-third. Somehow, that's not much of a surprise.
The study asked more than 2,500 people across Canada 120 different questions on the topic, and compiled some fascinating insights.
First, safety ranked as the second most important factor when considering a new vehicle (behind price, of course), even ahead of fuel efficiency and reliability.
Second, that most people are familiar with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and some form of traction control... as well they should since both those features are officially mandated in every new vehicle sold in Canada. It's the features like radar-based adaptive cruise control, or blind-spot monitoring, or lane-keep assists and all those other three-letter-acronyms that are added every year.
Third, most drivers agreed that if they had and knew how to use the 'extra' safety features, they certainly would.
(As a funny aside, the majority also rated their own driving skill as 8/10 and others at only 5/10... obviously perception and overconfidence are playing a big role in poor behaviour. Maybe we should lobby for retests, both in-car and written, after every 10 years of holding a licence?)
Toyota and TIRF have created a new site called Brain on Board that aims to tackle all kinds of these issues, including plain-language explanations of new safety technology, driving tips, and more. We'd give it a hearty thumbs-up too.