Jones & Swanson

Speed Limiters on Large Trucks

We’ve discussed the dangers of tractor trailer crashes in the past. While there are fewer big rigs involved in wrecks per miles driven compared to other types of automobiles, the accidents that do involve 18 wheelers are typically much more dangerous. The number of fatalities as a result of tractor trailer accidents is very high, reported to be 1.1 per 100 million miles traveled by trucks in 2010. For this reason, many organizations are attempting to make U.S. roadways safer from these devastating crashes.

One potential solution is to impose speed limiters on specific trucks traveling on roadways within the United States. The Department of Transportation has plans to make this change as soon as October of 2014. Currently, trucks that would be included in the ruling would weigh at least 26,000 pounds. They would also need to be traveling on roadways which have a speed limit at 55 MPH. While the DOT has not yet provided information as to what the limited speed would be for 18 wheelers in these situations, proposals in the past limited drivers to 68 MPH. Similar rulings have been suggested in the past, but have yet to be approved.

So what benefits would tractor trailer speed limiters provide? Estimates show that fatal accidents could be decreased by 1,115 per year with this new speed limiter requirement. By reducing the maximum travel speed on big rigs, more crashes could be avoided and those that do occur may be less gruesome. Because 18 wheelers weigh so much, the amount of time required to come to a complete stop is much greater than that of smaller vehicles. By limiting the speed that these large vehicles can travel, the stopping distance may be decreased.

While these plans have not yet been finalized, we feel that they would be extremely beneficial to the increased safety of Georgia roadways. Most large trucks already have these limiters installed, but without a limit set in effect. The speed limiter simply sends an electronic signal through the engine’s computer to restrict the air and fuel flows to the engine at a certain speed. This means that the cost of implementation would be low, while the overall benefits are even greater.

Because we have witnessed the devastating effects a tractor trailer crash can have on an individual and their family members, we approve this potential new rule. If you have questions about a tractor trailer crash that you or a loved one were involved in, contact our law firm today for a free consultation at (770) 427-5498. Visit our website for more information about tractor trailer accidents.

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