National Survey Identifying Gaps in Consumer Knowledge of Advanced Vehicle Safety Systems

Advanced in-vehicle safety technologies are becoming more and more prevalent in the North American vehicle fleet. Market penetration of various safety technologies, including back-up camera, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot warning systems, is quickly entering standard trim levels. As part of this technological expansion, more driver information and education about these safety systems is necessary to realize safety improvements. The average driver may have limited or no experience using the safety technologies. This paper reports the results of the National Consumer Survey of Driving Safety Technologies, which served as the formative research for development of a national educational campaign to encourage drivers to use their vehicle safety technologies more effectively. The research effort asked a targeted representative sample of U.S. drivers to complete the online survey. The survey collected more than 2,000 responses from this national sample and obtained information on drivers’ knowledge, experience, and perceptions of vehicle safety technologies, as well as their methods of seeking information about their vehicle. This paper is the first to discuss the general levels of knowledge about older and newer vehicle safety technologies in the general driving population.