Are modern cars making us worse drivers?

    How much do you rely on technological aides when driving?

    3y ago


    I’m a country girl and learnt to drive on a tractor at an early age like many others. As a teenager I progressed to what we Australians call a ‘paddock basher’, an early 1970’s Toyota Corolla, that I eventually killed when the battery fell into the fan and I roasted the engine.

    I got my license more than 20 years ago and I’ve always driven modern cars on the road and never had a major accident. Although I enjoy spirited driving, I know my ability is not good enough to ever switch off the traction control on these cars. I’m happy to let a computer keep me on the straight and narrow.

    As such when I have participated in driver training events where I have turned traction control off, I have more than once ended up facing the direction I entered the corner.

    I was speaking to friend recently who said that he was not even going to bother teaching his children to drive a manual car, as they would most likely never have to drive one in their lives and would most likely be soon in a car that would drive itself.

    Modern cars now come with 360° cameras, adaptive cruise control, lane departure detection, driver alertness monitoring and blind spot warning technology, to name just a few aides. These are all designed to reduce the likelihood of us crashing.

    I recently went from driving a modern car fitted with all of these aides to a Hyundai i30. This is when I had the realisation that all the technology I was now used to has actually made me a worse or lazy driver.

    I reversed out of my own driveway feeling almost scared because I did not have a reversing camera even though there was nothing I could hit. I felt like I was paying a lot more attention to my surroundings as I was driving than what I would be in my regular car.

    This is when I came to the conclusion that although all of these technological aides on modern cars may reduce our accident rates, they are actually making us worse drivers. I would love to hear your thoughts about this.

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    Comments (7)

    • Yes they are. In a few years no one will be able to park without effing sensors. What happened to spatial awareness?!!!

        3 years ago
    • The lady that backed into me the other day would have benefitted from some modern gadgets to keep from hitting me grrrrr

        3 years ago
    • Wrestling is fine when you're young and driving local. But give me my comfy Audi A6 3.2 for those long hauls. I drove from Tucson to Seattle a long time ago in a Datsun 240 Z, and even as a youngster I felt like a cripple by the end of the trip.

        3 years ago
    • I would much prefer to drive my95 scoob everyday then my 2009 hatch. their is no feel or feedback when driving. I like to have a certain amount of wrestling with a car. Feel more on control.

        3 years ago
    • What seems like just a few short years ago your phone required one of those little electrical lines attached. Now that is no longer needed we have become so dependent just you try and leave that home for a day. Impossible right? That is what all those new wizzy gadgets are like in the car. They lull you into a false sense of security and it hurts when they are missing. So much so it's almost hard to function without them sometimes. Maybe we need to have a mandate that everybody take their car to the track to refresh their skills once a year. Or maybe once a week?

        3 years ago


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