Will The Infrastructure Bill Actually Improve Road Safety?
In the upcoming weeks, the newly proposed infrastructure bill should be signed by President Biden. Much of this legislation is transportation-related, which will have a direct impact on road safety. To stay informed, we’ve laid out the key takeaways from the infrastructure bill and how the proposed changes could lead to modernization in the automotive sector.
How will the infrastructure bill initiate better safety?
Most of the concerns troubling the automotive industry are addressed in this proposal. Politics aside, you’ll want to see just what lies ahead for the automotive industry and road safety in general.
Nudge for improved headlight regulations
A portion of the infrastructure bill denotes there are better headlights on the horizon. At least, a progressive push to get us there. The legislation puts a two year timeline on DOT to examine and evaluate their current headlight standards and determine if they are still viable with road safety calibre today.
Cue the happy dance! This waves a sign of hope that adaptive beam technology will finally make its way into U.S. manufacturing. After all, a partial goal of the infrastructure bill is to reach global congruence with road safety. In addition, improved headlight regulations will allow for better nighttime visibility, which is when the majority of fatal crashes occur.
Drunk driving sensors
Data from the NHTSA confirms, on average, 28 people die a day from involvement in an impaired accident. Tragically, all those deaths are preventable. The infrastructure bill brings attention to this ongoing issue with an emphasize on advanced drunk driving detection technology.
As seen in recent years, car safety has advanced leaps and bounds with the introduction of driver assist technologies. Some cars are even able to detect when a driver is falling asleep at the wheel. Initiating drunk driving sensors will not only ensure the safety of the driver, it will undoubtedly protect pedestrians and fellow drivers on the road.
Car tech precautions
Though we know distracted driving remains one of the leading causes of roadside collisions, research shows that most drivers continue to take part in such behaviors. Some even believe driver assistance systems have made people become worse drivers, specifically lazier and less focused on the road for if or when something goes wrong.
This complacency has spiked a recent urge to introduce driver monitoring systems, similar to drunk driving sensors. The infrastructure bill is once again requiring the DOT to further study driver behavior and figure out a means to minimize distracted driving in the future. On top of that, the bill sets aside $109.7 million for the NHTSA to conduct behavioral research for automated systems and driver assistance systems.
Aim to decarbonize transportation
Among the focus on road safety technologies, the infrastructure bill dedicates significant funding for electric mobility. This includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations, which will help accommodate the projected growth in EV usage in the years to come. Additionally, grants and rebates for electric school buses and other modes of transportation are suggested to further bring about the switch to electric mobility.
Final thoughts on the infrastructure bill
Congress’ proposed legislation appears to be heading in the right direction. Particularly for the sake of road safety and electric integration. Once the infrastructure bill receives its final stamp of approval, the necessary evaluation and improvements will start to happen.
The mounting pressure on DOT will hopefully carry out positive outcomes too. As headlight enthusiasts, we can only hope this means the U.S. will get back on board with evolving headlight technologies. This change, overall, could have a real impact on the occurrence of fatal accidents as well.
In conclusion, with car safety at the forefront of the automotive industry, there is no better time to evaluate and refine new car tech than right now. This will help guarantee it is beneficial in all regards, for the driver and others on the road.
To learn more about the infrastructure bill, visit Congress.Gov to read about the proposed changes for road safety.
Headlight technology and vehicle lighting overall could benefit greatly from increased performance requirements