Electronic Driver Aids Save Lives, Autobahns Need Speed Limits: Study Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Mar, 07 2015 | 0 Comments

A study by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has found electronic driver aids may play a bigger role in road safety than first thought.

The study is titled “Ranking European Union Progress On Improving Motorway Safety”, and its report concludes emerging safety technology will play “a major role” in reducing road trauma throughout Europe.

When features such as lane keep assist, intelligent seatbelt reminders, radar-guided cruise control and autonomous emergency braking become more common, the evidence supports a reduction in the road toll directly related to the ratio of ‘new’ safety features - according to the report.

As such, the report strongly recommends the uptake of these technologies in new models as soon as possible, and it’s a view the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) in Australia supports.

"This report highlights the importance of bringing vital safety assist technologies into our cars as early as possible in order to drive down road trauma," ANCAP CEO, Nicholas Clarke, said.

"[The study is] further confirmation that technology is a critical element in road safety and ANCAP is calling on governments, fleets and consumers to demand these technologies in their cars.”

Consumer demand may drive the uptake of these safety technologies harder than government pressures however, as customers increasingly expect that new models will score the maximum 5-star ANCAP safety rating.

ANCAP raises the bar each year for carmakers, making it harder to obtain the 5-star score as more driver and passenger safety aids become mandatory.

Autobahn in Germany
Autobahn in Germany

And get ready for a bar-room debate over speed limits

As part of the study’s concentration on motorways, it concluded fatality rates on derestricted sections of Germany’s famous autobahns were higher than those with an enforced speed limit.

The report therefore recommends that all German motorways be speed-limited as a means of improving the road toll on EU motorways in general.

Motorways in the EU are performing better than average, with road deaths falling 49 percent since 2004, compared with a 44 percent improvement on other roads.

MORE: Pacific Highway Tops NRMA Worst Roads Survey, Again
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