Young car buyers put brand before safety

UK charity appeals to young car buyers to increase the importance of safety features above brand and infotainment systems when making purchasing decisions.

Road safety charity, Brake is encouraging young drivers to put safety first when buying a new vehicle. The call comes on the back of recently released survey results, which show safety features are less of a priority for young drivers when choosing a vehicle than its brand.

The survey put safety technology third on a list of decision-making factors for all drivers, behind reliability and fuel economy. However, less than half of drivers (48%) named safety as one of their three most important considerations. Among young drivers (17-24) it was even fewer, less than two in five (37%). For this age group, brand was more important at 39%.

Infotainment systems are also becoming an increasing factor in young drivers decision making and are fitted in many new vehicles. More than one in five (21%) young drivers (17-24) said they wanted such a system, and one in six (17%) said it is one of their most important features in choosing a vehicle. However, Brake believes that these systems could pose a distraction risk similar to that of using a mobile phone. Any attempt to multi-task at the wheel is known to make you at least two or three times more likely to crash.

The survey also showed a lack of engagement among drivers with important industry safety standards such as Euro NCAP. A five star Euro NCAP rating is the easiest way to be sure your vehicle is protecting both you and the people around you on the road, and yet less than a quarter (23%) of drivers said it was something they looked for in a new vehicle.

Brake is urging all drivers to put safety features that protect both themselves and others top of the list when choosing a new vehicle, opting for a five star Euro NCAP rating wherever possible.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “Vehicle safety technology has come on leaps and bounds and a large part of the casualty reductions we have seen in recent decades are likely to be attributable to this. It is important that all drivers take advantage of these advances as much as possible, to protect both themselves and the people around them on foot and on bikes. When choosing a vehicle to drive on public roads, safety should always be the number one consideration.”

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Human Factors

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