Guildford, UK – 2017 – UK motorists planning to spend Christmas in Europe are woefully ill prepared in the event of a road accident, with two-thirds admitting to not knowing the emergency number they would need to call. According to a study conducted ahead of the busy Xmas period, less than half of respondents are confident about what to do in the case of an accident requiring local emergency-services support, while more than 80% confess to having travelled abroad without holiday insurance. The survey of over 2,000 UK adults was commissioned by tech company Avaya as part of an investigation into people’s attitudes about road safety during the ongoing implementation of the eCall initiative and found:
- Only 11% of respondents said they were “very confident” that they could explain the location of an accident and give details about injuries sustained to local emergency services in their language.
- More than a third, 36%, didn’t cite the importance of knowing the local highway code before driving in a foreign country.
- Four in ten admitted to not conducting any safety checks on a hire vehicle before driving away.
These findings strengthen the case for the adoption of eCall, an automatic in-vehicle system that brings rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision anywhere in the UK and European Union. Bydelivering data on a vehicle’s exact location straight to the emergency services in the event of a collision, eCall enables them to get to the incident faster. Mandatory in all new cars from March 2018, the eCall system is predicted to save up to 2,500 lives per year. The Avaya survey suggests this service would be welcomed by the UK public, with almost 70% of respondents feeling that they would be at ease if there was a device fitted in their car for this purpose.
Other passengers (30%), fiddling with the radio (28%), and children arguing (25%) are some of the distractions motorists faced while driving a car, according to the survey. Despite all these issues, only 11% believe British drivers are worse than their European counterparts, while 31% think Brits are safer behind a wheel. Italian drivers are most likely to be perceived as the worst drivers on the road, followed by French motorists.
Ioan MacRae, Managing Director of Avaya UK commented: “With more and more of us on the roads both UK and abroad, the eCall system can take a huge amount of stress out of driving by immediately alerting the emergency services, enabling them to dispatch critical assistance faster, regardless of physical or language obstacles. No amount of technology can take away the stress of realizing you don’t have insurance post-accident, or that you could have prevented an accident by doing a basic vehicle check before you leave the airport, but for the situations that are outside of your control, eCall provides great piece of mind for all road users across Europe”
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