The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) supports a warning to car manufacturers to avoid fitting vehicles with distracting technology.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) issued the warning today saying that manufacturers are ‘turning cars into living rooms and creating dangerous distracted drivers’.
IAM chief executive officer Sarah Sillars says:
"Efforts to reduce distraction factors for motorists are being undone by the relentless pace of technology and eagerness of car makers to pack more gadgets onto dashboards. “The main areas of concern were highly sophisticated satellite-navigation and GPS systems, smartphones that mirror tablets and easy connectivity of internet and social media.”
MCIA CEO Steve Kenward added:
“More in-car distractions will increase the vulnerability of motorcyclists and cyclists. ‘Failure to look’ on the part of drivers is already responsible for 50% of needless rider incidents and we need to foster a culture of switching driver’s attention back to the road and other road users – not allowing them to catch up on emails or Facebook on the move.”
The IAM has suggested the UK should adopt guidelines proposed by the US Department of Transportation and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
These call for drivers to be restricted from using certain non-essential forms of technology while the vehicle is in motion, and car makers should not introduce any technological development which takes the driver’s attention off the road for longer than two seconds. The USA will phase these voluntary guidelines in over the next three years.
The IAM say US Federal data figures show that 3,331 people were killed and 387,000 injured in 2011 due to distracted driving, with a quarter of all teen crashes in the US caused by the same.