e high-tech dashboards will help make driving safer to some extent, with hands-free phone calls and a direct alert to call emergency services in the event of an accident. But with many of the features of smartphones they pose another in-car distraction.
■Avoid the temptation to use any features that require input from the driver on the move
■Set your sat nav before you go, and prepare a music playlist for your journey to avoid fiddling with the system while driving
■Find somewhere safe to pull over if you need to set up a destination on your sat nav, or look for a local amenity
■Familiarise yourself with how your interactive technology works
■Make sure you know your route – don’t just rely on your sat nav.
Elstow said: “While digital dashboards are becoming a popular accessory in luxury cars, they can be very distracting. Missing a petrol station, or point of interest you’re looking for is annoying, but the alternative is potentially fatal. Pull over first.”
To help drivers stay safe and enjoy their driving this summer, the IAM has a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts, and driving tips, including: driving abroad, cycling, coping with Olympic congestion, and loading the car for a long journey.