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The NTSB calls for mandatory speed assistance technology

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2023 | Car Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents around the country claimed more than 40,000 lives in 2021 according to figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation, and approximately 12,300 of those road users lost their lives in accidents involving motorists who were exceeding posted speed limits or driving to fast for prevailing road conditions. Excess speed is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents in New Mexico and other states, which is why the National Transportation Safety Board has urged federal regulators to make intelligent speed assistance technology mandatory safety equipment on all passenger vehicles sold in the United States.

Intelligent speed assistance technology

Intelligent speed assistance technology is designed to prevent cars from exceeding posted speed limits. These systems use GPS data to determine a vehicle’s location and a database of speed limits to determine its maximum permissible speed. Passive intelligent speed assistance systems issue an alert when drivers exceed posted speed limits, while active systems lower vehicle speeds automatically by engaging speed limiters.

Drivers are not convinced

Automakers are reluctant to include intelligent speed assistance systems in their vehicles because they increase prices and do not work well in places like busy intersections where roads with different speed limits converge, and drivers object to paying more for technology that they feel is unnecessary. There is little data to show speed assistance systems will prevent car accidents, but New York City is testing the technology on 300 of its municipal vehicles.

Mandatory in Europe

Intelligent speed assistance systems will become mandatory equipment for passenger vehicles in the European Union in 2024, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to take action. Government regulators may be hesitant to require carmakers to install systems in their vehicles that rely on technology still in its nascent stages, but that could change if the number of speed-related accidents in Europe falls.


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