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Do Speed Limiters Make Big Trucks Safer?


No matter what kind of vehicle you are driving, excessive speed increases your chances of losing control of the vehicle and crashing.  It also gives you less time to get out of the way to avoid a crash caused by another driver’s mistake.  Driving at a moderate speed is not, by itself, enough to prevent all collisions but, in general, the more slowly the vehicles were traveling at the time of the collision, the less severe the resulting injuries are likely to be.  Another factor that influences the severity of injuries is the relative size of the vehicles; a collision between a car and a bicycle is usually disastrous for the bicyclist, and a collision involving a commercial truck is usually bad news for all vehicles in the truck’s vicinity.  Last month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a proposal to require the biggest trucks to be equipped with speed limiters, but many truckers think that adding speed limiters to trucks would be counterproductive.  If you have been injured in a collision involving a commercial truck, contact a Columbia truck accident lawyer.

What Do Speed Limiters Do?

A speed limiter is a device attached to the electric engine control unit of a truck that automatically makes it stop accelerating once it reaches a certain speed.  The FMCSA announced a preliminary proposal that would require the devices on all commercial trucks weighing 26,0001 pounds or more.  The proposal did not indicate what the maximum speed would be, but its previous proposals have called for maximum speeds of 60, 65, and 68 miles per hour.  The FMCSA has solicited feedback from truckers and motor carriers, and it intends to issue a final decision about the matter on July 18.

Would Adding Speed Limiters to Commercial Trucks Make the Road Safer or More Dangerous?

Most truckers who have commented on the proposal are against the mandatory use of speed limiters.  They argue that, while excessive speed is a risk factor for collisions, limiting the maximum speed of commercial trucks to 68 miles per hour, or even less, would create more problems than it would solve.  For example, many sections of the interstate highways system have speed limits of 70 miles per hour.  This would mean that cars on those roads would be going considerably faster than the trucks, and there would be too many risks of cars not slowing down in time to avoid colliding with a slow truck.  Some truckers cited times when the only way they were able to avoid a crash was by accelerating; this would not be possible for trucks with a maximum speed that is slower than the legal speed limit.

Let Us Help You Today

The truck accident lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you seek compensation if you were injured in a truck accident, no matter how fast or slow the truck was going.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.


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