What’s Your Tech IQ?
Many car buyers and owners don't understand automotive safety technology that can save their lives. A recent University of Iowa study found that most drivers expressed uncertainty regarding many of the technologies available in cars today. The study also found that 40 percent of drivers in the study reported being startled or surprised by how their car behaved.
In order to educate drivers, the site MyCarDoesWhat.org is an education resource operated by the National Safety Council and the University of Iowa. The goal of the campaign is to help drivers be more comfortable with the advanced features in their car, particularly since only 10 percent of drivers read their vehicle manuals.
"We hope that MyCarDoesWhat will help users understand technology in vehicles," said Alex Epstein, senior director of digital strategy and content for advocacy department of the National Safety Council, "Safer behavior on the road will prevent crashes, injuries, and fatalities."
MyCarDoesWhat offers information for new drivers, experienced drivers, those looking for a new car, those renting a car, or those wanting more information about cars. It is also helpful for those who learned to drive in Driver's Ed in at school and haven't learned about new features since then, says Epstein.
"As fast as new safety features are coming online, it's not difficult to see why people are having trouble catching up. Thanks to the National Safety Council and the University of Iowa, the My Car Does What campaign will help change that. It's understandable, it's interesting, and it will help you keep yourself and your passengers safer. I urge you to take MyCarDoesWhat. com for a test drive today," said Secretary Anthony Foxx of the Department of Transportation.
New car technology can help drivers see, park, brake, stay in their lane, maintain proper car distance, and more. However, if the driver doesn't understand the technology it may not work properly. The website can help drivers and enthusiasts learn more about the safety technology found in many of the new cars being sold today.
Visitors can start at the homepage of www.MyCareDoesWhat.com, where the site lists advanced safety features with the features' symbols so users can recognize them in their car dash. Users can click on the icon for each safety feature or view a video introducing or the concepts. Technology is explained through a short video, a "Quick Guide," "How it Works" and/or "Q&A."
The videos feature spokesman Rick and his dog Scout. A section named "Dashboard Blitz" allows visitors to download games to play on smartphones. The site gives information on how to use the technology and also warns what the technology can't do everything. For example, when explaining backup cameras, Rick and Scout warn that drivers should always walk around the car first and that the cameras themselves have blind spots and may not show a ball, bicycle lying on the ground or other low objects.
MyCarDoesWhat.org educates drivers on the dozens of technologies that are now standard features in new cars like electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring systems, and backup cameras. It also covers technologies that are optional including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning systems, automatic emergency braking, adaptive headlights, automatic parallel parking, forward collision warning, rear cross traffic alert,
New car technology can help drivers see, park, brake, stay in their lane, maintain proper car distance, and more.
blind spot monitor (side view camera), and many other new tech features when they are released.
The University of Iowa study showed that consumers reported they least understood adaptive cruise control (65%) and lane departure warning systems (36%). However, the study also showed consumers were also uncertain about features that have been standard in American cars for more than 20 years -- such as anti-lock braking systems -- to recently emerging technologies, such as automatic emergency braking.
Epstein warns, however, safety technology does not replace good driving skills, "You are still your car's best safety feature; technologies are enhancements."
National Safety Council Photos: MyCarDoesWhat.org educates drivers on the dozens of technologies in new cars like adaptive cruise control, blind side monitoring, and backup cameras. MyCarDoesWhat.org is an education resource operated by the National Safety Council and the University of Iowa.