Over the last 30+ years, automotive technology has evolved by leaps and bounds. Features from antilock brakes to parking assist have made driving safer and easier. However, the numerous options, advancements, and upgrades now offered by auto manufacturers have led some to wonder if modern technology is creating less proficient drivers. In this blog, we’re going to look at how auto technology affects driving skills, especially when it comes to younger drivers.
What Studies Show About Technology & Driving Skills
A study from a few years ago found that 1.5 million drivers veered into oncoming traffic while they were looking at their GPS navigation systems. The same study revealed that drivers who regularly use GPS are also more likely to lose their sense of direction when they don’t have GPS, even when they’ve made the same trip multiple times. So, while GPS helps you get where you need to go with fewer wrong turns and less traffic, it may also lead to more accidents, and more difficulty if you find yourself without your GPS for some reason.
It’s also been found that car technology disrupts certain parts of the brain because the technology makes people work less. In other words, drivers rely on GPS instead of forming a mental map in their brains. When you listen to the voice from the navigation system, you simply follow directions instead of putting your cognitive abilities to work. Even worse, studies show that keeping your eyes on a smartphone map or infotainment screen can affect your peripheral vision and ability to react to road hazards.
Implications for Young Drivers
Many teenagers have never been in a vehicle without some level of modern automotive technology. Our advice is to teach teenagers to drive without using any of the tech features, such as parking assist and GPS. Teach your son or daughter how to rear park and parallel park without using a rearview camera, and make sure there’s a map in the vehicle—that he or she knows how to use. In addition, show your teens how to check oil levels and other simple maintenance items, such as adding air to the tires. We bet they’ll thank you in the long run.
Call Aardvark Automotive for All Your Car Care Needs—Tech or Otherwise
If you notice anything wrong with your vehicle’s gadgetry, bring your car to Aardvark Automotive. While modern automotive technology can affect driving proficiency in some ways that are negative, we believe tech does have its place so long as you don’t rely on it too much. Together, we can find the balance between making driving simpler and easier and maintaining the skills you need to be safe on the road.