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Speed Limit Devices, Incentives Can Help Prevent Accidents
Studies indicate that motorists tend to drop speeds when they are offered financial incentives to do so. Further, a combination of financial incentives along with speed limit devices may help curb speeding further. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration researchers collaborated with researchers at the Western Michigan University and Old Dominion University to study the effect of financial incentives in helping prevent speeding-related accidents. There were 50 drivers aged between 24 and 39 in the study. These drivers had about 5 years of driving experience each under their belts.
As part of the research, the participants in the study were asked to drive vehicles that had been fitted with an Intelligent Speed Adaptation Device. These devices are not very familiar to motorists in the United States, but car accident lawyers have found that these devices are increasingly becoming popular in Europe. The device alerts a motorist when he’s driving above the speed limit.
The device integrates GPS systems and digital mapping to determine whether the motorist is speeding, and warns him either through an audible or visible alert, or a haptic alert. The haptic alert involves an alert through the accelerator that prevents the motorist from jamming down on the accelerator pedal further.
The researchers in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that 45 drivers who were driving cars fitted with Intelligent Speed Adaptation devices, received a speed alert from the device. Some of these drivers were paid $25 if they drove within 4 mph of the posted speed limit between the 2nd and 3rd week. If they drove above 4 mph of the posted speed limit, they lost the money. There was yet another control group of motorists who were not given either the alerts, or any cash incentive.
The researchers found that drivers who were given the cash incentive to drive within speed limits, were actually able to reduce the amount of time they drove 9 mph above the speed limit to less than 1%. During the period of time in which they were not offered any cash incentives, they were able to do so only about 5% of the time. In the control group, the motorists traveled 9 mph above the speed limit about 9% of the time.
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