Reversing Camera & Sensors: Are They a Good Idea For Young Drivers?
More and more cars are being equipped with advanced technology that aims to keep drivers and passengers safe during a ride. Advanced safety systems such as lane departure warning, blind spot detection, auto braking, backup cameras, and crash sensors are becoming more common to prevent accidents that may occur due to human error.
That all sounds well and good, but are there complications that come with the benefits? By constantly relying on reversing cameras and sensors, won’t drivers become lazy and shift their attention away from what’s happening around them?
What about younger drivers? Will this help them become confident road users, or is there a danger they’ll slip into lazy habits by relying on technology rather than their own driving ability?
Leaving the brain on idle
What is the most important factor for preventing accidents on the road? Driver attention. And if cars are packed with driver-assisted technology, there could be a tendency to become negligent behind the wheel. Young drivers will become less likely to learn good driving skills because they are aware that there are automotive “safety nets” in place. Indeed, if they know that the car they are driving has a blind spot detection feature, they won’t even bother to look over their shoulder or check their side mirrors before changing lanes or easing into traffic.
Having said that, the more information the driver is able to obtain, the more informed their decision-making can be when behind the wheel. Yes there’s a worry that cameras and sensors stop us thinking for ourselves, but surely it’s important to use every available tool we can to keep safe and improve our driving?
Blaming the system
Relying on driver assistance systems could also make it easy to blame the car after a road mishap. It may well be all too convenient to wheel out the old ‘it was the computer’s fault’ line.
The technology will never be 100% flawless and drivers won’t be able to absolve all responsibility. Radar, for example, also has a slower response time than human reflexes, which means that by the time the car detects a problem and sounds off a warning, it may be too late.
Even reversing cameras are not fool-proof: they have been known to make drivers crash into poles that their rear camera could not see. This is a crucial thing for young drivers to learn early on: no matter how well-equipped a car may be in terms of safety, they are still the ones in control of the car, and so they must exercise proper caution when executing manoeuvres such as changing lanes and parking.
The information provided by cameras and sensors is only useful if the driver knows how to use it. That means perfecting the practical skills required to control a vehicle and making sure you’re fully aware of the rules of the road and the theory behind addressing the hazards of the road.
Driver assistance technology does help to provide a safer environment for motorists and pedestrians, and may even make driving more pleasant in situations such as long drives. What’s good about cameras and sensors is that they don’t get distracted or bored the way drivers do, but all in all human intervention is still key when it comes to safe and responsible driving. Technology should be used to complement and improve a young driver’s skills, not replace them. Cameras and sensors are great to build confidence and overcome tricky manoeuvres – something that may well be ideal for the young driver.