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Road Safety Week Blog

A collection of views from around the UK on topics related to the theme of Road Safety Week. These blogs are aimed to inform and inspire people to take action and raise awareness during Road Safety Weekand beyond. Contributions are from Brake staff, volunteers, partners, researchers and campaigners. Views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily represent those of Brake or its employees.

Can we rely on technology to keep us safe?


UK Road Safety Week is once again being kindly sponsored by Aviva. Here, the company's B2C managing editor Amanda McWhirter gives her thoughts on the development of technology and what it means for drivers.

There can be no doubt that technological innovation is having a huge influence on all aspects of our lives, and driving is no exception.

Innovations such as autonomous emergency braking, intelligent speed assistance and lane departure warning systems are helping to make journeys safer. Telematics devices can help to make motoring cheaper – by encouraging more fuel-efficient driving – and sat-nav systems have made map-reading a thing of the past for many car users. An Aviva study of more than 2,100 UK motorists showed that the vast majority of drivers – some 74% – use in-car gadgets or apps as part of their driving experience, which comes as no surprise.

Dash cams and safe driving apps are growing in popularity, with 39% of those surveyed believing that using one has made them a better driver. A third of motorists also see devices such as dash cams as a way to protect themselves, by recording evidence of any incidents in case they are ever involved in a claim. Apps are available to help older drivers to refresh their skills, or to keep new drivers on track when they first start driving alone after passing their test.

Aviva Drive is a safer driving app from Aviva that enables motorists to monitor their driving skills, potentially rewarding safe drivers with discounts on their car insurance. As cars and customers get more connected, Aviva is looking to evolve the Drive app and make it ‘smarter’. The app will be more integrated with other technology, more responsive and, perhaps most importantly, even more rewarding for the user.

Although technology is playing an ever-bigger role in most people’s driving experience, the human factor is still crucial. Driver error is cited as a contributory factor in 68% of fatal road crashes [1]. Speed is also a major factor, with police recording drivers breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for road conditions in 23% of fatal road crashes [2]. For this reason, we urge everyone to make the Brake pledge and underline their commitment to road safety.

The pledge focuses on six key points: slow, sober, sharp, silent, secure, sustainable. In keeping with the theme of this year’s Road Safety Week (Speed Down, Save Lives) we ask all drivers to pledge to stay within speed limits, and to slow down to under 20mph around schools, homes and shops to protect others. For further information, including how to sign the Brake pledge, please click here.

As technology continues to evolve, so will the way we drive and it’s exciting to see what the future holds. It’s comforting to know that many technology pioneers have safety as a top priority and that they are doing their utmost to protect drivers, their passengers and their vehicles.

[1] Contributory factor, reported accidents by severity, Great Britain, Table RAS50001
[2] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2015, Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: Annual Report 2016, Department for Transport, 2016, table RAS50008

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Saturday, 23 January 2021

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