Since 2006, various organizations and community leaders have been urging
the Department of Transport to mandate the use of Electronic Control Modules
(ECM) on tractor trailers on U.S. roadways. These ECM devices are more
commonly referred to as “speed limiters” and have the capability
to limit the speed of heavy trucks to no more than a specified amount,
most commonly suggested at 65-68 MPH. Jones & Swanson released a blog
article in August of 2014 detailing
speed limiters on large trucks, but the DOT has yet to implement these safety control systems. The original
date scheduled for release of these truck speed limiters was August of 2011.
A recent south Georgia crash that took the lives of give Georgia Southern
University students has led various Senate members to question why these
truck speed limiters have not been executed. That crash led to a wrongful
death lawsuit brought against Total Transportation and its insurers, with
claims that the 18 wheeler’s driver was traveling too fast and too
close to the vehicle at the time of the crash. Senators question whether
lives could have been spared in this crash, as well as many others throughout
the years, had tractor trailers been installed with speed limiters years
ago as suggested. In 2013 alone, federal data reveals 1,179 fatalities
involving a large truck. 163 of those occurred in the state of Georgia.
The DOT itself has made statements claiming the minimal costs involved
with equipping large trucks with speed limiters, especially when considering
the decrease in number of big rig crashes as a result of the safety equipment.
Many trucking fleets already make use of ECM devices in their trucks,
but until it is a requirement by law, there is no way to guarantee trucks
will not travel at unsafe speeds.
The attorneys at Jones & Swanson have represented many families of
victims who were killed in tractor trailer accidents, as well as injured
victims themselves. In comparison to large 18 wheelers, typical passenger
vehicles are much smaller in size and weight. Because of the sheer differences,
accidents involving tractor trailers and passenger vehicles are usually
more dangerous to the smaller vehicles’ occupants. While speeding
may not always be the cause of tractor trailer accidents, it is high on
the list. Implementing truck speed limiters would significantly lessen
the chances of big rig speeding accidents.
If you or someone you know were injured in an auto accident in which a
tractor trailer driver was at fault, you may be able to hold them liable.
For more information, contact our office today at (770) 427-5498 or on
our website at