Are buttons and dials about to make a comeback?

Are buttons and dials about to make a comeback?
Euro NCAP – Europe’s leading automotive safety industry body – has stated that from 2026 new guidance will be introduced over physical buttons and touchscreens.

In fact, key dashboard touchscreen functions will soon be changing, and physical switches will be required instead.

This is because the car manufacturers selling in Europe will need to have to physical buttons for certain actions in order to be granted the highest safety ratings.

From January 2026, indicators, hazard warning lights, windscreen wipers, horn, and any other safety features on the dashboard will have to be controlled by physical switches.

As long as the vehicle meets the other safety requirements, the vehicle will be granted Euro NCAP’s highest five star safety rating.

Matthew Avery, director of strategic development at Euro NCAP, said: “The overuse of touchscreens is an industry-wide problem, with almost every vehicle-maker moving key controls onto central touchscreens, obliging drivers to take their eyes off the road and raising the risk of distraction crashes.

“New Euro NCAP tests due in 2026 will encourage manufacturers to use separate, physical controls for basic functions in an intuitive manner, limiting eyes-off-road time and therefore promoting safer driving.”

Euro NCAP’s rules are not mandatory for manufacturers to follow, but the threat of losing points will likely impact the decisions of many of the leading brands in the years ahead.

What is Euro NCAP?

The European New Car Assessment Programme - or Euro NCAP - is an organisation that carries out safety tests on all makes and models of vehicles that are available in Europe.

They then provide a safety rating score that customers can check before purchasing a new vehicle.

It rates the car based on crash tests and other safety criteria, and has been a part of the industry since 1997.

Euro NCAP has played a crucial role in improving the safety standards of vehicles on the continent.

As an independent body, it is not influenced by the manufacturers, and its standardised tests are carried out on all vehicles in an equal manner.

Do you think this is a good decision for road safety? Are current touchscreens too much of a distraction for drivers? Leave your comments below.

RAC Breakdown Cover Sale

RAC Breakdown Cover Sale

With our cover, the difference is in your pocket. 

*Max 40% applies to new Extra and Complete for 1 vehicle or 1 person. Ends 17/07/24, 7am. ^ £6.75 for Basic, not on sale. 

RAC Breakdown Cover Sale