Could Speed Limiters Cause More Accidents?

Wed 27th Mar 2019

A major UK insurer has warned that the EU’s plans for mandatory automated speed limiters on cars could cause more accidents rather than making roads safer.

The European parliament passed new laws this week which will see all cars produced from 2022 having to include speed limiting technology which will keep cars to the speed limit of the road they are travelling on. The hope is that roads will be a lot safer under the ruling, but Zurich Insurance has warned that some drivers could become overly reliant on the technology, making the move counter-productive if drivers don’t adhere to the road conditions as well as the speeds.

While Zurich admit that in general speed related crashes will be reduced, bad road conditions caused by the weather, or temporary speed limits outside of schools may not be taken into consideration.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, Calum McPhail, head of liability and claims at Zurich Insurance said that drivers might 'assume it is safe just to drive at the given road limit irrespective of the immediate environment - for instance outside schools - and in adverse weather conditions, such standing water caused by rain, fog and snow or ice.'

The issue of automation intended to make driving safer has been a thorny one for some time, with many safety campaigners arguing that drivers will put too much trust in the car technology and unable to react to a change in the driving environment. The RAC said: ‘Just because a vehicle's speed is limited doesn't mean that drivers can accelerate as fast as they like up to the limit they are in'.

‘We should always drive at the right speed for the conditions, whether that's due to traffic, bad weather or other hazards.'