Florida’s highways are filled with motorists traveling over the speed limit as they try to reach their destinations faster. While speeding is commonplace, it is also one of the leading causes of fatal traffic collisions. Because of this issue, some U.S. safety advocates are calling for the implementation of speed assistance technology in all new vehicles in the country.
What is speed assistance technology?
Speed assistance technology comes in two forms. The first type offers passive speed assistance by alerting motorists when they drive faster than the speed limit to try to encourage them to slow down. The second type is active assistance, which intervenes and prevents drivers from driving faster than the posted speed limit. This technology is already widespread in the European Union, but its adoption has been slow in the U.S. Advocates think it could prevent some fatal car accidents.
Criticisms of speed assistance technology
U.S. automakers have been hesitant to install speed assistance technology in their vehicles as a standard option. However, a few offer the passive form as an option. Instead, automakers state the focus should be on driver education and strict enforcement of speed limits. Some critics also point out that current speed assistance technology sometimes confuses posted speed limits on nearby roads and makes errors. They argue that the technology still needs improvement before it is implemented on a widespread basis.
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn’t appear to be close to mandating active speed assistance technology in all new vehicles, it could be on the horizon. In 2022, approximately 40,000 people died in traffic collisions. In 2021, more than 12,000 traffic fatalities were caused by speeding drivers. Technology that prevents drivers from exceeding the speed limits could potentially save lives by preventing some high-speed accidents from happening. However, advancements are still needed to prevent software errors.