Volvo Cars will limit the top speed of its vehicles to 112 mph starting with the 2021 model year, as part of its mission to end serious injuries and fatalities in its vehicles, the company announced.
The leadership team at Volvo believes the move will help start a dialogue among stakeholders about whether or not car manufacturers have a responsibility to install technology that changes unsafe driver behaviors.
Volvo's announcement comes on the heels of the release of the National Transportation Safety Board's annual Most Wanted List, which included a call-to-action for finding strategies to reduce speeding-related crashes.
Above certain speeds, in-car safety technology and smart infrastructure design are no longer enough to avoid severe injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident. For this reason, speed limits are in place in most western countries. However, safety experts say the persistent problem of speeding is not being addressed effectively.
In the U.S., approximately 41 million speeding tickets are issued each year. Data shows that vehicles traveling at higher speeds are more likely to experience collisions because it takes longer to stop or slow down. Even so, speeding remains a serious problem and one of the most common reasons for traffic fatalities.
In fact, speeding is a factor in about 10,000 roadside fatalities each year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Moreover, in 2017, speeding, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, caused 25% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S.
In addition to limiting top speeds, Volvo is also exploring how a combination of smart speed control and geofencing technology could automatically limit speeds around schools and hospitals in the future.
The move to impose speed limits in its vehicles is part of Volvo's Vision 2020, an ambitious safety initiative that sets out to ensure there are no lost lives or seriously injured people traveling in a new Volvo by 2020.