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Adaptive speed warnings might reduce accidents

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2020 | Blog, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury |

Many new vehicles come with adaptive cruise control that automatically adjusts vehicle speed to match traffic and boost safety. A similar concept applied to traffic speed warnings on local roadways in Illinois and elsewhere might reduce the number of local accidents and save lives.

Advisory speed limits for congested roads

A recent study of motor vehicle accidents done by the University of Missouri and Missouri Department of Transportation tested the effectiveness of posting advisories warning drivers to slow down while approaching a heavily congested section where traffic is moving more slowly. The idea is to prevent sudden braking due to unexpected traffic backups and running a much greater risk of an accident.

Warnings prepared drivers for slow sections

The study affirms that traffic warnings helped to slow traffic as drivers entered highway construction zone. Traffic reduced speed by up to 10 mph prior to entering the congested areas, which helped to greatly reduce the impact of the construction zones. Traffic generally adjusted to an appropriate speed prior to entering the congested areas, which increased the traffic flow. The study also shows rear-end accidents were reduced by an estimated 30% and lane-changing incidents by about 20%.

Actual versus suggested speeds provided

While virtually all states warn drivers of upcoming construction zones and similar traffic congestions, they do not tell drivers the speed of traffic in those slower sections. That makes it harder to anticipate the speed of traffic and adjust accordingly until arriving at the actual point of congestion. The new system tells drivers the actual speed of traffic in the congested areas, which then enables drivers to slow down an appropriate amount.

The study helps explain the proliferation of accidents in construction zones and similarly congested areas and how driver behavior affects safety. No matter the cause, when a person has been injured in an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney in the greater Springfield area may help to present their case.