Saturday, February 11, 2006
Safety Devices Dangerous
What a hoot!
It seems that electronic safety systems, designed to minimise human error, could in fact make drivers more dangerous by lulling them into a false sense of security.
This effect has been nicknamed "highway hypnosis", and is a state of mind brought about by reduced stress and drivers having little to do.
A study was carried out at Brunel University, and looked at the effects of two systems: adaptive cruise control (ACC), which electronically maintains a safe distance from the car in front, and active steering (AS), which monitors the white lines in the road and adjusts the steering to keep the car in lane.
Researchers tested 44 drivers in a simulator to see how quickly they would respond to an emergency.
When both safety systems were switched on, their reaction times were considerably slower.
Mark Young, who led the research, said:
"If a driver has little to do the capacity to respond to unexpected events is dramatically reduced."
In other words, Nanny stops you thinking.
This is of course the hallmark of an authoritarian state.