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Study: Cruise Control, Speed Limiters Can Promote Drowsy Driving

September 18, 2013

A new study funded by the Paris-based Vinci Autoroutes Foundation concludes that driver use of cruise control and speed limiters can contribute to drowsiness and slower reaction times, particularly among drivers ages 18-30.

In addition, researchers said, the use of these technologies can lead to fatigue that affects a driver’s ability to merge safely into traffic.

As a result, the researchers concluded that these vehicle features should be used with a measure of precaution.

“The idea is not to simply advise drivers to refrain from using these driving aids, which provide real benefits in terms of speed limit compliance and comfort,” said Bernadette Moreau, general delegate of the Vinci Autoroutes Foundation. “However, these aids should not be used systematically, but rather advisedly, and a number of precautions should be taken.”

The study involved 90 French drivers who were tested using a driving simulator. Participants were divided into three age groups of 30 drivers each – 18-30, 40-50 and over 60.

The goal was to measure the effect on driver vigilance and behavior. Younger drivers proved to be more sensitive to drowsiness than 40-year-olds and seniors, the study found.

To learn more about the study, click here.

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