Cruise Control, Speed Limiters Can Affect Driver Concentration

According to new research, drivers who frequently use cruise control or speed limiters in their vehicles may suffer from reduced attention capacity. The study also found that as a result of this reduced attention, the drivers were also less likely to respond appropriately to danger.

Specifically, the researchers found that when cruise control technologies and speed limiters were used in cars, drivers were less able to merge into traffic because they found it more difficult to moderate speeds. The researchers also found that drivers showed a reduction in alertness, when they were using cruise control and to some degree also speed limiters. They believe that this is so because of possibly reduced driver workload, when these technologies are being used.

However, the researchers aren’t exactly warning against the use of these technologies. There is no doubt that these technologies are extremely useful and very beneficial, especially in helping reduce the number of accidents caused due to speeding. There is also no doubt that these technologies are already convenient to use, especially cruise control. However, when these technologies are used inappropriately, or randomly, or unnecessarily, there may be a serious risk of reduced driver alertness.

The researchers also noticed other disturbing driver behaviors, when they were using cruise control. For instance, when drivers were using speed limiters and cruise control, they were much more likely to display risk-taking behaviors like overtaking, and staying in the overtaking lane for longer periods of time.  They took a much longer time to move back into the slow lane. They were less able to control the vehicle’s direction in a straight line, and their reaction time during emergencies was also substantially reduced.

Doug Horn is a Missouri car accident lawyer, dedicated to the representation of victims of car accidents across Missouri.