Drivers choose digital gadgets over safety options

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When it comes to specifying their vehicle, new car buyers are almost four times more likely to choose connectivity gadgets over safety upgrade options, new Whatcar.com research has revealed.

According to Fleet News, safety systems such as lane-keeping assistance and blind spot monitoring are passed over for gadgets such as satellite navigation, digital radio and Bluetooth capability.

While the research revealed automated emergency braking (AEB) was the most popular safety system selected by new car buyers, it was chosen by less than 20%. What's more, six in 10 upgrade to a new car without any safety features.

In comparison, nearly two thirds (64%) of drivers pay extra to have a sat-nav set up and half upgrade to a DAB radio -- the cost of which is similar to the estimated £200 cost to install AEB.

Jim Holder, editorial director of Whatcar.com, said: "When it comes to talking about what's important in a car, most people are vociferous about how vital safety is.

"However, it seems to be a different matter when new car buyers are sat in front of the salesman. British car buyers are clearly going for style over substance.

"It's beneficial to have creature comforts in your car, especially if you spend a lot of time driving.

"But it's quite shocking to think that features which could save peoples' lives are taking a back seat to having the right sound quality on the radio, especially when those items often cost around the same as safety options."

Would you choose gadgets over safety?

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