Approximately 5,000 people are killed every year in crashes that involve commercial trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that speed is a factor in approximately one-third of trucking accidents.
It is important for truck drivers to maintain safe speeds and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Large commercial vehicles cause significant damage to other vehicles when involved in an accident and contribute to a disproportionate number of fatalities. Trucks that are driving at higher speeds require significantly more braking distance than smaller vehicles travelling at the same speed. Accidents involving speeding trucks tend to cause more significant injuries than accidents involving trucks traveling at the speed limit.
Truck accidents often involve significant legal actions; those involved should seek appropriate legal counsel, such as a truck accident attorney in Atlanta at the firm of Stokes and Kopinsky, P.A.
Speed Limiters Enforce Trucking Safety
An electric control module, also known as a speed limiter, is a device created to limit the maximum speed that a truck can travel. Two trucking interest groups, Road Safe America (RSA) and the American Trucking Association (ATA), petitioned the NHTSA to require speed limiters in heavy trucks. They requested that the devices limit a truck’s speed to 68 miles per hour. These groups believe that enforcing a maximum speed will increase safety on the nation’s highways. Recently, the NHTSA granted the petitions and announced that it will begin the rulemaking process.
Schneider National, a trucking carrier that supports the speed-limiter rule, claims that, in the company’s experience, truck drivers who drove trucks that were not equipped with speed limiters were responsible for 40 percent of serious accidents despite only making up 17 percent of the total driving time.
Several other countries have already introduced devices to limit the speed of commercial vehicles. These countries include Australia, Europe, Japan and parts of Canada. Australia and the United Kingdom have observed a significant decrease in fatalities involving commercial trucks since the devices were introduced.
Although installing speed limiters in large commercial vehicles will not put an end to all traffic fatalities, they will help reduce the number of speed-related injuries on America’s highways.