IIHS Urges NHTSA to Redirect Resources

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Nov. 11, 2019—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) should direct resources to more promising speed management measures, rather than courses intended to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding, says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

NHTSA requested comments on a proposed study of the effects of a driver education course covering vehicle speeds, laws, and the risks of speeding. The course would be offered to licensed drivers with at least one speeding citation or conviction over the previous three years.

A large body of evidence shows that education has not been effective in addressing traffic safety issues such as alcohol-impaired driving or seat belt use, Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research, wrote in the comment. Moreover, drivers already know the risks of speeding, and that knowledge has not influenced their behavior.

Measures such as encouraging the use of automated enforcement and incentivizing automakers to install intelligent speed adaptation — technology that alerts speeding drivers or automatically slows the vehicle to ensure compliance with speed limits — offer greater potential benefits than education. 

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