Speed Limiters May Reduce Trucking Collisions



Austin Personal Injury Lawyers

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers - Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 27, 2015 – Truck wrecks are far more prevalent in the United States than many realize, with speed a causative factor. A Department of Transport (DOT) proposal may see speed limiters, or governors, installed on all trucks over 27,000 pounds.

The proposal, a collaboration involving the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to have a speed governor installed on all trucks that weigh over 27,000 pounds, has made its way to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The proposal was the result of a petition from Roadsafe America and the American Trucking Association. While it was initially speculated the proposal would pass as a law relatively soon, the OMB has extended the review period for a final rule.

Once a final rule is published, it would likely go into effect two years after its publication. It’s a move that has many in the trucking industry, including drivers, up in arms. A time delays in delivering loads is the main issue. Safety advocates cite research indicating that installing speed governors and reducing the speed of big rigs will reduce the number of highway crashes.

A recent study by the Trucker Report reveals that trucks with limiters, or speed governors, had a 50 percent lower speed limit-relevant crash rate than vehicles without limiters on board. Safety advocates suggest an estimated 1,000 big rig accidents may be eliminated by the proposed rule.

“While this may be an excellent proposal, our experience in handling trucking crashes has shown us if there is a way to circumvent a limiting device that slows a trucker down, it will be installed to cheat the device. Very simply, lost time on deliveries is lost money to a trucker,” said Austin trucking accident attorney, Brooks Schuelke of Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC.

Does installing a speed governor on trucks over 27,000 pounds make sense? It may, however the reality of highway driving is that there are multiple vehicles on the same road travelling at different speeds. Introducing a differential that slows trucks down may have the adverse effect of making car drivers speed up to pass, hence a unique proposal by the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) suggesting uniform speeds for passenger vehicles and trucks.

“The bottom line is that if a speed governor works and the number of big rig accidents declines, it has accomplished what it set out to prevent. Reducing deaths on the highway as a result of a collision with a tractor-trailer is a goal we can all support,” said Schuelke.

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