A 45-mile stretch of road southeast of Austin, Texas recently became the road with the highest speed limit in the country after the speed limit was increased to 85 mph. Houston car accident lawyers and others concerned about the implications of such high speed limits on motorist safety could look at the continent of Europe, where regulators are promoting the use of speed-limiting devices in order to reduce the risk of speed-related accidents.
The European New Car Assessment Program recommends the use of a device called the Intelligent Speed Adaptation in cars, for vehicles to qualify as Euro NCAP Advanced. The system makes use of a GPS device and digital mapping that includes speed limits, to check whether the vehicle is driving at speeds above the posted limit.
If the device determines that the vehicle is traveling at a speed that is above the posted limit, then the system will emit a visual or audible alert that will warn the driver that he is speeding, and must slow down.
Some other types of devices provide an alert through the accelerator. This alert makes it harder for the driver to press down on the gas pedal, thereby preventing him from speaking even more. These systems are based on intervention, and these devices can actually reduce the engine throttle.
While Europe is promoting the use of such speed-limiting devices, motorists on this side of the pond are unfamiliar with them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not include the technology as part of its New Car Assessment Program.
There seem to be several benefits to using these devices. As many other states consider increasing speed limits on their highways, the federal administration could look into promoting these devices, especially for high-risk categories of drivers like senior or teen motorists.