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Is in-vehicle tech a major distraction problem?

The latest cars, vans and trucks have such a mass of technology aboard that driver distraction is becoming a big safety problem, according to Red Corporate Driver Training in the UK.

Red has warned that widespread use of screens and dials for entertainment and driving options – to the point where some vehicles have almost no physical buttons at all – has tipped many drivers over the edge into dangerous levels of distraction.

“We are in danger of drowning in distraction because of the huge amount on offer in a modern vehicle,” said a company spokesman.

“In some vehicles now, you could spend miles choosing which parts of your seat to heat up, what colour the cabin lights should be, the design of the dials, scrolling through millions of songs and podcasts on various apps or hearing your emails and messages read out.

“That’s even before getting to the more obvious forms of distraction, such as phone calls, work and home worries, passengers and daydreaming. At some point, the dam will burst.”

Red is also backing Euro NCAP’s move to only start awarding five stars for safety to vehicles that have physical buttons for certain key operations from 2026.

The company has published a free-to-download advisory paper on how to combat the problem – warning that without more awareness of the issue, the problem of digital distraction is going to get worse, not better.