Speed Limiting

Will U.S. Drivers Ever be Ready for Speed Limiting Technology?

Speeding is a factor in a quarter of all fatal accidents in the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute, and in some years like 2016, over 10,000 lives were lost because of driving too fast. Sometimes, drivers speed knowingly but all too often, they can unwittingly put pedal to the metal without realizing the true extent or potential results of their velocity. In Europe and the UK, all new cars sold from the year 2022 onwards will be fitted with speed limiters, driver monitors,and other devices intended to promote road safety. Recent surveys have shown, however, that Americans are still unwilling to give up the right to drive at their desired velocity.

What Measures will be Adopted in Europe and the UK?

Intelligent speed assistance systems will rely on GPS data and sign-recognition cameras to advise drivers of speed limits and, unless overridden, they will also limit the speed of the vehicle. They will also be fitted with ignition interlock devices (designed to prevent drink driving) and distraction monitors. The latter will contain cameras that detect when a driver is impaired, tired, or distracted, then prompt them to drive safely. Additional safety features that will be obligatory in vehicles include lane departure warning systems, advanced automatic emergency braking systems, emergency stop signals, reversing cameras, and accident data recorders (or ‘black boxes’).

The Stance of Drivers in America

The Zebra recently surveyed 1,000 people in the U.S. to discover whether or not they would be willing to have speed limiters installed in their cars. Around 68% answered in the negative, though female drivers and those aged over 65 were more willing to install limiters. Arguably, if such measures were to be adopted in the U.S., fostering greater driver awareness first is key. Many drivers are unaware of the extent to which speeding can be a risk, or the age of those that can be affected. As stated by legal specialists at JJS Justice, conditions in infants such as cerebral palsy can be caused by road accidents. Cerebral palsy, which affects about half a million Americans under the age of 18, can be caused by traumatic brain injury ensuing from an accident. A wide array of life-changing conditions affecting people of all ages can arise from driving too fast (whether willingly or unwittingly).

How Many Deaths can be Prevented by Safety Tech?

The safety technology to be applied to all new cars as of 2022 was introduced last year to avoid up to 140,000 serious injuries by the year 2038. This technology is also predicted to bring the rate of road deaths to zero by 2050. It is important to note, however, that the anti-speeding system can be deactivated by drivers by simply pushing down harder on the accelerator. Drivers will still, therefore, play a key role in preventing accidents.

The adoption of new safety rules in the European Union and the UK promises to significantly lower the rate of both injuries and deaths via road accidents. A survey shows that American drivers may be more reticent to adopt these measures. However, the European experience may influence future legislative decisions, particularly in the case that deaths can truly be eliminated from roads.