It’s a given that speeding and safety don’t go hand-in-hand, but the National Transportation Safety Board says that in 2014 alone, passenger vehicles constituted 77 percent of speeding vehicles involved in fatal crashes, and 78 percent of all speeding-related fatalities involved a speeding passenger vehicle.
Those figures are part of a new NTSB study that uses prior NTSB investigations, together with other research, “to address the national safety issue of speeding among passenger vehicle drivers.”
Speeding, they found, increases crash risk in two ways: (1) it increases the likelihood of being involved in a crash, and (2) it increases the severity of injuries sustained by all road users in a crash.
Having said that, the report notes that “the relationship between speed and crash involvement is complex,” affected by such things as the driver’s age, alcohol impairment, road curvature, highway gradient and more.
And it maintains that speed as a contributor to highway crashes, injuries and deaths 1) isn’t high enough on the public safety radar and 2) that law enforcement reporting of speeding-related crashes “is inconsistent,” leading to under-reporting and underestimation of the part speeding plays in highway crashes.
The report warns against increasing speed limits based on the prevailing speed used by motorists in a particular location because it says as the limits go higher, passenger motorists will always increase their speeds to be over the posted limit, and lead to an increase in speed outside the higher speed zones.
The report also explores the use of technology in mitigating high speeds, such as Automated speed enforcement (ASE) technology, and Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA). The latter is a type of speed limiter which uses an onboard global positioning system or road sign-detecting camera to determine the speed limit, warns drivers when they exceed the limit and electronically prevents them from speeding.
It says federal aid programs to states should be used as incentives to fund speed management programs and urges the Department of Transportation to complete directives in the 2014 Speed Management Program Plan and periodically publish its progress on achieving the plan’s goals.
The report also calls on the NTSB to, among other things, work with law enforcement, the Federal Highway Administration, Governors Highway Safety Association, and various law enforcement organizations to improve law enforcement reporting of speed-related crashes, to incentivize car manufacturers to adapt ISA technologies, and authorize state and local agencies to use automated speed enforcement.
For more details click here https://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/Documents/2017-DCA15SS002-BMG-Abstract.pdf