Road accidents are one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world. Every year, millions of people are injured or killed in crashes involving cars, bikes, motorcycles, buses, trucks, and pedestrians.
But most road accidents are preventable if we follow some simple tips and use common sense. Here are some ways to reduce your risk of being involved in a road accident.
Speed Kills: A Problem That Requires a Solution
One of the main factors that contribute to road accidents is speeding. Driving too fast reduces your reaction time, increases your braking distance, and makes it harder to control your vehicle. Speeding also increases the severity of injuries and damages in case of a collision.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), for every 1% increase in speed, there is a 4% increase in fatal crash risk.
In this article, I am not going to tell the common recommendations that drivers should follow. Instead, I’d like to present an overview of how driving can be safer with the use of technology.
I can not stop thinking of how many accidents could be avoided by implementing electronic safety measures. I am not speaking about the common ones, I am speaking of speed sensors that would forcibly reduce the vehicle’s speed.
How Sensors Can Limit The Speed (SLS)
One of the most promising technologies that can prevent road accidents is sensor-based speed-limiting systems (SLS). These systems use sensors on the vehicle to measure its speed as well as various factors such as traffic flow, road type, weather conditions, and driver behavior.
Based on this data, the system calculates the optimal speed for each situation and automatically adjusts the throttle or applies the brakes to keep the vehicle within the safe range.
This way, the system prevents the driver from speeding or driving too slowly, which can possibly cause accidents.
Some examples of SLS include:
- Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA): This system uses GPS data or roadside signs to warn the driver of the current speed limit.
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC): This system uses radar or cameras to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead by adjusting the speed accordingly.
- Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (CITS): This system uses wireless communication between vehicles and infrastructure to coordinate their movements and optimize traffic flow.
Why Assisted Driving Is Not Implemented In Speed Matters
While SLS sounds like a great idea, it is not widely implemented yet due to several challenges.
Some of these challenges include:
- Cost: Installing SLS on vehicles requires expensive hardware, software, and maintenance costs that may not be affordable for many drivers or manufacturers.
- Privacy: Some drivers may not want their vehicles tracked by GPS or other sensors, or share their data with third parties. They may also feel that SLS infringes on their freedom and autonomy to choose their own speed.
- Reliability: SLS depends on accurate and up-to-date information from various sources, such as GPS, road signs, traffic lights, weather stations, and other vehicles. If any of these sources are faulty, outdated, or hacked, the system may not work properly or even cause accidents.
- Acceptance: Some drivers may not trust or like SLS and may try to override or disable it. They may also feel less engaged or skilled in driving if they rely too much on SLS.
The Ethical Issues Of Automatically Limiting The Driving Speed
SLS also raises some ethical issues that need to be addressed before it can be widely adopted. Some of these issues include:
- Responsibility: Who is responsible for the actions and consequences of SLS? Is it the driver, the manufacturer, the regulator, or the system itself? How can liability and accountability be established and enforced?
- Fairness: How can SLS ensure that it treats all drivers equally and fairly? How can it avoid discrimination or bias based on factors such as age, gender, race, or disability?
- Consent: How can SLS obtain informed consent from drivers to use their data and control their speed? How can drivers opt out or change their preferences if they want to?
- Transparency: How can SLS explain its decisions and actions to drivers? How can it provide feedback and allow for appeals or complaints?
Road accidents are a serious threat to our health and safety, but they are not inevitable. We can prevent them by driving safely and smartly, and by using technology wisely.
SLS is one of the technologies that can help us avoid accidents by limiting our speed based on various conditions.
However, SLS is not a magic bullet that can solve all our problems. It has its own challenges and ethical issues that need to be overcome. In my opinion, safety first with the use of technology is the way to go. After all, drivers have been educated for decades and accidents are still a major problem.
In this other article, we discuss Automated Vehicles Technology.