We have seen a rise in technological advancements in cars over the years and, while they have added layers of convenience for the experienced driver, there has been a debate as to whether or not young people are helped or hindered by technology when they are behind the wheel.
For the teen who is keen to get driving as quickly as possible, technology is at the heart of their learning process. Online resources have replaced books and study guides while, in some cases, simulators are even used to help learners to pick up practical skills before they head out onto the road. For the tech-savvy generation, it makes sense to use technology to learn how to drive and to make driving itself easier.
There are car technologies that are seen to be helping young people, while there are other technologies that could prove to be a distraction.
For instance, reversing cameras in cars are helpful, as they give the driver a better view of what’s behind the car. Images are shown on a screen to help to eliminate a driver’s blind spot and boost safety.
Another helpful piece of in-car technology linked to the aim of safety is a blind spot warning system. These can either alert a driver to look at their cameras or, if they don’t have them, their mirrors.
Both of these help to combat aspects of driving that are difficult for learners. However, there are some forms of car technology that can also be considered distractions, especially to young drivers who haven’t had a long experience driving on the road.
For instance, hands-free technology can be considered helpful, as it prevents drivers from taking away their hand off the wheel, but it certainly is not risk-free. Doing something while driving, even if the driver does not take their hands of the wheel, is still considered a distraction. The concentration of the driver is divided, and this can cause accidents to happen.
One of the leading causes of car accidents is indeed distracted driving. Distractions can include small TV monitors in the car, loud music, and some hands-free technology. Even technology that aims to make life easier such as satellite navigation systems can be a distraction, especially when someone isn’t experienced enough to be able to fall back on their own experience and driving skills.
In-car technology can legitimately make driving safer for any driver but it is still important for the learner to get a good grounding in the full set of skills required when handling a vehicle. That way they have a solid technique to fall back on and the technology can – as intended – enhance rather than replace driving skills.
It’s also incumbent on the learning process to catch up with the reality of modern driving as quickly as possible. Sat-nav systems are already becoming part of the testing process – as further technology becomes commonplace for drivers it’s important that they too are added in so that the technology can be used safely and securely by drivers.