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NHTSA, FMCSA Estimate Speed Caps on Large Trucks Could Save Lives


Posted on Sep 08, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering a rule that would limit the speeds possible in new commercial trucks. The rule -- proposed jointly by the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) -- would require manufacturers to equip new tractor trailer trucks and other heavy duty commercial vehicles with speed limiting devices.

While the maximum speed is still in question, the proposal claims instating a limit for trucks could save lives and reduce fuel costs for trucking companies.

How could speed limiting devices benefit the general public and trucking companies?

The proposal, if approved, requires all new trucks, buses, and other vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds to have a speed limiting device installed when delivered from the manufacturer. Once delivered, the motor carrier will continue to maintain theses devices, and keep them set at the required speed.

Potential benefits include:

  • Fewer trucking accidents
  • A decrease in trucking accident injuries and deaths
  • Lower fuel consumption
  • Lowered emissions

Since speeding contributes to a significant number of truck accidents, reducing the average speed of commercial trucks on U.S. highways could decrease the number of crashes each year. At the same time, the force of impact in a crash is significantly lower when the vehicles are moving at a slower speed, meaning these accidents may not cause as many devastating injuries even when they do occur.

According to the research behind this proposal, the number of lives spared by this rule is highly dependent on how low the DOT sets the speed limit for truckers. The potential lives saved annually ranges from 27 lives at a speed limit of 68 to 498 lives at a speed limit of just 60 miles per hour.

What is the status of the proposal?

While there is a lot of government support behind this rule, the proposal is still in the early stages. In fact, the agencies proposing the rule have not yet even decided on a potential speed limit. Possibilities include 60, 65, and 68 miles per hour.

The agencies published the proposal to solicit public comments and to spark conversation between concerned parties about retrofitting trucks already on U.S. roads.  For some, this requirement would not warrant additional hardware since many commercial vehicles already have speed limiting devices.

What should I do if I suffer injuries in a Georgia truck accident?

Truck accidents often lead to devastating injuries, months of medical treatments, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Some people suffer lifelong disabilities after a crash with a truck. When the trucker causes the crash, the trucking company is often liable for these damages.

If you suffered injuries in a Georgia truck accident, The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC can help you recover the compensation you deserve to pay for your medical treatment, lost wages and more. Call us today at 404-474-0804 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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