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Should Large Vehicles Use Speed Limiting Devices?

Posted On September 22, 2016 In Truck Accidents

Can speed limiting devices prevent accidents?East Texas has experienced several truck accidents in recent weeks. Last week, a log truck rollover in Nacogdoches shut down part of Highway 7. In August, a tractor-trailer and two passenger vehicles were involved in a collision in Lufkin. Two people lost their lives. Recent news is a reminder that commercial vehicles are capable of causing more destruction than passenger vehicles. It is important for commercial drivers to avoid speeding and other dangerous driving habits. However, commercial drivers are human beings, and therefore not immune to making mistakes. For this reason, federal regulators are putting an emphasis on using new technologies to prevent these bad behaviors. Speed limiting devices might be one way to accomplish this goal.

Why The FMCSA and NHTSA Want Speed Limiting Devices

A proposed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposal would make speed limiting devices mandatory on commercial and multipurpose vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds. This would include tractor-trailers, school buses, passenger buses and other large vehicles.

At the moment, the rule has considered using the devices to cap maximum speeds at 60, 65 or 68 mph. The FMCSA’s and NHTSA’s rule has been submitted to the Federal Register and will now be open to public comment until November 7th. Critics and proponents of the rule have already voiced their opinions through multiple press releases. We can learn quite a bit from what they are saying.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx claims that speed limiting devices on large vehicles could serve an important purpose. He claims it would save lives. NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind echoed these sentiments, saying that decreasing speed would reduce the impact force from collisions. According to both Department of Transportation agencies, speed limiting devices on vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds could save 27 to 498 lives every year. Both arguments also suggest that many people could be spared the hardships of living with disabilities from catastrophic injuries.

On the opposing side of the rule, is the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). According to the OOIDA, the new rule would jeopardize the safety of all motorists because it would lead to speed differentials and road rage. The association claims that highways are safer when all vehicles are driving close to the same speed.

Where Do You Stand On This Issue?

Both sides make some interesting points. We know that speeding commercial trucks are more likely to experience rollovers, jackknifing, have less time to stop and are much more likely to cause fatal collisions due to the massive impact force. On the other hand, road rage is dangerous and capable of causing accidents. People undergoing a fit of road rage are much more likely to perform dangerous maneuvers, such as leaving the highway to pass other vehicles or speeding.

If it were up to you, would you want to implement the rule that requires speed limiting devices on vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds? Keep up with the Texas truck accident attorneys at Mike Love & Associates, LLC on Facebook and share your thoughts.

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