What Are Speed Limiters and How Can They Prevent Truck Accidents?

Last summer, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently proposed a regulation that would require commercial truck carriers to install speed limiters in their vehicles, in an effort to reduce the number of truck accidents.

Truck Accidents

Speed limiters are devices that restrict the maximum speed of a vehicle, so that drivers cannot exceed the preset limit. The FMCSA has not determined the speed limit level for commercial trucks. Here are some reasons the FMCSA believes that speed limiters could help lower the number of truck accidents, although it is facing opposition from some truck organizations.

Speeding Is One of the Major Causes of Truck Accidents 

The FMCSA has found that speeding is one of major causes of accidents caused by commercial truck drivers. And this problem is exacerbated by the fact that many states continue to increase speed limits on highways.

In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that more than 30,000 deaths from 1993 to 2013 were directly linked to increases in the speed limit.

The issue is that commercial trucks are larger and more powerful than passenger vehicles, and they take much longer to come to a complete stop.

And speeding significantly increases the impact of a collision. For example, a 40,000-pound truck packs 13 times the power of a 3,000-pound passenger vehicle moving at the same speed.

Speed limiters would prevent truck drivers from exceeding the speed limit, and could help regulate their driving behavior.

Opposition To Speed Limiters

The opposition to the speed limiter proposal for commercial trucks centers on the fact that some truck organizations believe it would create a speed differential issue that could cause more accidents.

Speed differential refers to the rate of speed of different cars on the road, which studies have found contributes to accidents.

For example, a commercial truck traveling at 60 mph could present a road hazard if other vehicles on the road are traveling at 70 mph or more.

But supporters of the proposal point out that seven states already have lower speed limits for commercial trucks, and that some truck carriers have already installed speed limiters to make their trucks safer and to increase fuel economy.

The FMCA speed limiter proposal is still in the exploratory stage, and its ultimate fate may rest on whether the new presidential administration supports this proposal.

Helping You After a Truck Accident

Speed limiters on commercial trucks can help drivers maintain a safe speed, and could significantly reduce the number of truck accidents on the road. But no technology can counteract human error, which remains the biggest contributing factor in these wrecks.

After you’ve survived an accident caused by a commercial truck driver, you will need experienced lawyers who can battle the other side’s insurance company and hold them accountable. Give the team at Joubert Law Firm a chance to help you through this difficult time by calling us at 225-761-3822 and taking advantage of our free legal consultation.

Additional Reading

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