Would Speed Limiters on Large Commercial Trucks Make the Roads Safer?

Sharing Illinois highways with large trucks can be a harrowing experience when those trucks are speeding. Large trucks are hard to slow down and stop, and if the driver is speeding it stands to reason that accident evasion is even more difficult. Large truck crashes can be especially deadly, not just because of the sheer size of these vehicles, but also because these trucks have a higher risk of catching on fire in a collision.

FMCSA Speed Study

Devices that control the maximum speed a truck can reach are increasingly being advocated as a step toward safer highways. Six years ago, American Trucking Associations asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Safety Administration to order that commercial vehicles must use speed limiters. Now a recent study by the FMCSA supports the ATA’s position.

The study confirms that reducing speed can prevent accidents. Where speed played a part in the cause of a truck accident, the study found that trucks with speed limiters installed were 50 percent less likely to be involved in such accidents.

An ATA representative greeted the study results enthusiastically, noting that slowing down could prevent hundreds, even thousands, of highway accidents, and calling on the FMCSA and the NHSA to move ahead to institute rules requiring speed limiters. Speed limiters likely would prevent a truck from exceeding a speed of 65 miles an hour.

Critics of the proposal to require speed limiters argue that truck drivers need to be able to keep up with the traffic around them. Many motorists maintain speeds well above 65 miles per hour, so large trucks limited to that speed could pose an impediment to the traffic flow. Some truckers simply do not want to be prevented from speeding up and resist having their speed absolutely limited due to government regulations.

Unfortunately, regardless of whether speed limiters are required, truck accidents will continue to occur. If you have been injured as a result of a truck driver’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to be advised of your rights and options.

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