We are big proponents of driver assist features here at the Car Pro and Car Pro Show Host Jerry Reynolds has even given us a rundown of his favorite driver-assist features. Overall, driver assistance features are proven to reduce accidents and keep us all safer on the road. But not everyone is crazy about them and, in fact, some people disable some features they find annoying according to a new survey by Erie Insurance.
Cadillac Super Cruise driver assist technology. Credit: Cadillac.
The study -- limited to car model years 2016 and later - looks at which features drivers say they disable the most and why. It asked drivers of those vehicles if they had ever turned off or disabled any of 11 features commonly available in newer vehicles.
�Drivers said their most common reasons for turning off or disabling features is that they find them annoying or distracting,� said Jon Bloom, vice president of personal auto, Erie Insurance. Bloom said while automakers are always working to refine and improve features, there also may be cases when it�s more a matter of learning how the feature works and getting used to it. �Ideally as features improve and drivers get more comfortable with them, using them will become second-nature the way seatbelts are today. The payoff could be huge in terms of reducing crashes and saving lives.�
Citing crash data from the Insurance of Highway Safety and The Highway Loss Data Institute, Erie Insurance says some newer car features are dramatically decreasing crashes. IIHS and HLDI found that forward collision warning combined with automated emergency braking cuts front-to-rear crashes with injuries by more than half (56%). However, Erie Insurance�s survey found that, of the drivers whose vehicles have these features, 11% turn off forward collision warning and 17% turn off automated emergency braking.
The features getting the least amount of use, according to the survey? The first is adaptive cruise control which sets and adjusts your speed according to the vehicle ahead of you. In the study, the largest percentage of drivers (30%) said they hadn�t used it. The most cited reason for not using this feature was �I want to control the vehicle, not have the vehicle control itself.�
The second most disabled feature was lane keeping assist, designed to help keep your car in its lane by making light braking or minor steering adjustments. Almost a quarter of drivers (23%) said they turned off lane keeping assist because it was annoying. One respondent said the feature doesn�t work well [because] it hugs the lines too closely and another said it reduces the car�s fuel economy.
Here�s a full list of the features, provided by Erie Insurance, that ranks the most annoying features in terms of the percentage of people who said they had turned off or disabled it.
Study participants were also asked whether they would want each feature if they were buying another vehicle today. Adaptive cruise control was the least popular feature by far, with more than a third of drivers (35%) saying they definitely would not want it. The percentages of drivers who definitely wouldn�t want any of the other 10 features were all in the single digits.
We also always recommend learning about your car�s new technology features at the dealership. Fortunately in the study, many did that. In terms of how they learned to use the features in their vehicles, the study found that the largest percentage (38%) learned at the car dealership, a third (32%) figured it out while driving and 14% learned by reading the owner�s manual. Seventeen percent of the 18-24-year-olds learned at a driving school and smaller percentages read about it or watched videos online or learned from a friend or family member.
July 08, 2020