NTSB Pushes for Speed Limit Tech in All New Vehicles
Over 900 DMV crash fatalities since 2020.
Speeding is one of the top contributing factors to serious and fatal car accidents in the United States. At a time when the nation's accident rate is skyrocketing, a proposal to use technology to limit speed would be well supported. But this latest recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board has yet to find many advocates.
The NTSB recently recommended requiring new vehicles to be manufactured to include Intelligent Speed Assistance Technology (”ISA”). ISA differs from traditional speed-limiting devices that cap vehicle speed. Instead, the limiting effect in ISA takes into account the speed limit of where a person is driving.
Requiring speed-regulating technology in new vehicles was just one of NTSB's recommendations to curb speeding and reduce accidents. Even with this type of technology standard in vehicles, negligent drivers could still drive too fast in conditions like snow and ice, fog, and pothole and road debris filled areas. Here's what you need to know about speeding in the DMV region and how to avoid a crash.
Speed is a major factor in recent DMV accidents
Fatal accidents are becoming more common here and across the U.S. The DMV area recently experienced two devastating fatal car accidents involving speed:
- In Ashburn, VA, a head-on collision in Loudon County on the parkway north of Shellhorn Road involved a speeding truck that lost control, crossed over the median, and struck a car. All three vehicle occupants were killed.
- In Landover, MD, a three-car accident on I-495 resulted in the death of a 77-year-old man when a sports car traveling "at a high rate of speed" rear-ended a minivan.
There were 313 traffic fatalities in the DMV region last year. It was the third year in a row over 300 people died in local car crashes. Prince George's County reported the most fatal crashes, with 117 people killed, about 11.8 traffic fatalities per 100,000 people. Prince William and Fairfax round out the top three jurisdictions with traffic fatalities above 5 per 100,000 people. Traffic officials and researchers say speed is a major contributing factor to the rise in traffic deaths, combined with the increase in traffic on the roadways.
Speeding prevention tips
Communities are taking steps to prevent crashes. For example, next year, D.C. will double the number of traffic enforcement cameras and focus on safe bike lane development. Of course, there are things that drivers can do to reduce the risk of speeding accidents too, including:
- Don't speed. This may seem obvious, but sometimes even very careful drivers who are "running late" can feel pressure to go dangerously fast. Wherever you're going, getting there safely is more important than getting there fast. Plus, studies consistently demonstrate that speeding does not significantly improve travel time.
- Slow down in bad weather. Speeding isn't just going faster than the posted limit - it's driving too fast for conditions, as well. Reduce speed during adverse weather to maintain vehicle control and better respond to unexpected obstacles.
- Yield to speeding drivers. If you encounter a speeding driver, it's safer to let them pass rather than engage in aggressive driving behavior. Move to the right lane when it's safe to do so and give them space to avoid potential conflicts. Prioritize your safety by allowing aggressive drivers to pass without escalating the situation.
- Avoid following too closely. Keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. This provides you with enough time to react if the vehicle ahead slows down or stops suddenly. The three-second rule is a good guideline—maintain a distance that would take at least three seconds to reach the same point as the vehicle in front of you.
- Be aware of the road conditions and traffic flow in the immediate area where you are traveling.
- Of course, no texting and/or other interaction with your phone or other electronic gadgets in the car while driving.
Seeking legal help after a crash
Speeding exacerbates the severity of crashes by increasing the force of impact, reducing reaction time, and escalating the likelihood of severe injury, highlighting the critical role of obeying speed limits in minimizing accident severity. Choosing to speed is negligent, and negligent drivers should be held accountable when their actions result in injuries to others. We can help.
If you were injured or a loved one died in a car accident, contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC. Our law firm proudly serves Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We have decades of experience and are prepared to launch an investigation, build a strong case, and hold the at-fault driver accountable. Learn more about how an experienced car accident lawyer can protect your rights. Contact us today for a free case evaluation with a law firm that will stand by your side throughout every step of the legal process.