DRIVERS of cars equipped with high tech safety systems are being warned to double check if they have a replacement windscreen fitted.
Safety experts at Thatcham Research say that devices such as lane departure warning systems and emergency braking sensors may need to be recalibrated when a damaged windscreen is changed.
So-called Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) use cameras and other types of sensors which are normally located between the glass and the rear view mirror.
Thatcham Research, in conjunction with National Windscreens and Nationwide Crash Repair Centres have now drawn up a code of practice for technicians.
"ADAS systems have become an integral feature on modern cars, with motorists increasingly putting their trust in the additional layer of safety that this technology provides," said Andrew Miller, chief technology officer at Thatcham Research.
"This code of practice is a recognition by the industry that, whilst ADAS technology is helping make vehicles that much safer, it is also going to put a much greater emphasis on ensuring that safety levels remain unaffected following a repair."
He said that motorists must make sure the safety devices have been checked to make sure they work correctly after a replacement and if in doubt should consult their local dealer.
Roadside windscreen fitters also have a responsibility to inform the driver if the safety sensors have been properly calibrated.
Mr Miller said that motorists needed to be aware of the technology fitted to their vehicles and should be encouraged to ask questions to ensure that the technology has been handled in the right way if a windscreen has to be replaced.
Thatcham says that around six per cent of vehicles in the UK currently have ADAS technology and the number is expected to increase to 40 per cent by 2020.
"The industry is proactively putting a best practice framework in place, which should provide great confidence to motorists that their safety is at the very heart of this initiative," added Mr Miller.
"However, motorists themselves do have a responsibility in ensuring they remain safe on the road and they are encouraged to ask questions following any repair to the windscreen to satisfy themselves that the technology on their car is being properly handled. If in any doubt, it's imperative that they consult their own dealer for confirmation."