February 14, 2014 1:15 pm

New car safety gadgets don’t replace human skill and judgement: CAA

Volkswagen Golf on display at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto on February 13, 2014. The largest auto show in Canada, Canadian International Auto Show featuring cars, trucks, SUVs, luxury vehicles opened with a media day at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada on February 13, 2014.

Seyit Aydogan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

TORONTO – The launch of the 2014 Canadian International AutoShow means the introduction of more high tech safety gadgets on new upcoming vehicle models.

But the CAA of South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is reminding consumers that these new devices often do not replace human driving skills and judgement.

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“Today, more than ever, there is a need to strike the right balance between driver connectivity and traffic safety,” said Teresa Di Felice, Director of Government and Community Relations and Driver Education at CAA SCO in a media release.

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Safety officials say new devices built into cars today such as park assist, self-drive, rear cameras and automatic braking can help reduce the severity and frequency of collisions but can’t replace a driver’s instincts to avoid accidents.

“Drivers, not only responsible for their own safety but the safety of their passengers, other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, need to consider their activities and avoid distractions while behind the wheel,” said Di Felice.

The CAA SCO says there are simple tips to remember before you hit the road even if you have the latest safety gadgets built into your vehicle.

Before you drive:

  • Turn off your smartphone
  • Stow and secure loose objects
  • Pre-set climate control and radio
  • Pre-program your route on GPS

While you are driving:

  • Allow phone calls to go to voicemail
  • Do not text, surf the web or read emails
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke
  • Do not fix hair or apply makeup
  • Keep two hands on the wheel for better control
  • Keep your eyes on the road

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