Accidents involving semi-trucks is a concern for motorists, regulators and lawmakers across the country. Fatal commercial truck accidents claim far too many lives on our nation's highways, and the Orange County area is no exception.
In its never-ending attempt to curb serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents, the U.S. Department of Transportation proposes new ideas for regulations that can achieve that goal. One such idea that it is pursuing is to require all truck in the U.S. to be equipped with, and use, speed limiting devices.
According to a 2012 study that involved 150,000 trucks, the U.S. DOT found that speed limiters substantially reduced the crash rate for commercial trucks. For trucks that did not have a speed limiter, the annual crash rate was 16.4 crashes per 100 trucks. By contrast, the crash rate for those trucks that did have a speed limiter was 11 crashes per 100 trucks.
Not surprisingly, the debate about speed limiters in trucks has its share of opponents. They claim that widespread use of speed limiters would make highways less safe and also inefficient. The basis of that argument is that speed limiters could cause significant speed differentials between cars and trucks. Those who advocate for requiring speed limiters simply point to the DOT data in support of their contention that the limiters do in fact reduce truck accidents.
Regardless of how this debate ends, truckers and truck companies should always take all reasonable steps toward operating their trucks safely. Like any other vehicle, a speeding truck can cause dangerous conditions that can result in serious injuries or death. Although truck drivers can face tight timetables for moving cargo from place to place, speeding is not worth the risks.
Source: Commercial Carrier Journal, "With speed limiter rule proposed, proponents and opponents of mandate state their cases," James Jaillet, Sep. 23, 2016