PRAISE Report Touts 10 Tech Solutions for EU Driving

European authorities are already taking in-vehicle safety to a new level, with Sweden mandating alcolocks in 11,000 government vehicles by 2012. The new report discusses benefits of speed limiters, event data recorders, distance warning systems, and more.

Driving safety is a major concern in Europe, just as in the United States. A PRAISE report posted Sept. 17 by the European Transport Safety Council shows how far in-vehicle active and passive safety technology has come in some countries and where these technologies are heading. PRAISE, an ETSC program launched in May 2009, stands for Preventing Road Accidents and Injuries for the Safety of Employees.

Sweden appears to be out front with the technologies. It has mandated alcolocks in 11,000 government vehicles by 2012 and has studied Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) systems, which warn a driver about speeding, in 4,500 vehicles, with about 4,000 Swedish Road Administration cars and some municipal vehicles now outfitted with ISA.

Other authorities and some companies are using speed limiters, adaptive cruise control that automatically maintains a following distance from the vehicle ahead, event data recorders, distance warning systems, electronic stability control, partially or fully autonomous braking systems, fatigue detectors, and more.

Users of these technologies followed up with counseling and training when data showed excessive emergency braking maneuvers or routinely rounding corners at maximum speed, for example, the report states. And claims, injury, and fatality data so far from the studies indicate the technologies offer major benefits in lives saved and costs avoided.

ETSC will hold its first Country Seminar tomorrow in Warsaw, Poland, in a series in selected EU member states bringing together companies, fleet safety managers, government leaders, and road safety experts to discuss ways to increase fleet safety.

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