Serious consideration is being given to requiring all tractor-trailer’s traveling on the nation’s roads to incorporate automatic speed-limiting technologies.
Officials with the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety have joined the debate with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding the potential requirement for large truck speed-limiting technologies.
This was the result of petitions filed by Road Safe America and the American Trucking Association to help to get large commercials vehicles to slow down on our nation’s highways. Slower traveling trucks help to reduce the risks of serious injury and death in the event of a trucking accident in Alabama.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is in on it too, saying that speed governors for large trucks should be required on all commercial vehicles. The technology is already mandatory in many other countries.
Bill Graves, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Trucking Association, recently expressed his support for these devices. He said that as a national representative of the U.S. trucking industry, the Association strongly supports mandatory speed-limiting of trucks.
Right now, these proposals are being reviewed by officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).
Critics contend that speed limiters will increase the cost of transporting goods, and could even increase accident risks in some cases, particularly when a large truck is mechanically limited from keeping up with the flow of surrounding traffic. However, supporters, including the American Trucking Association, say that there is ample evidence to suggest that slower speeds help to conserve fuel and reduce the risks of accidents.
“Improving highway and truck safety is about understanding the behaviors and events that precipitate crashes, and about implementing programs and countermeasures that truly address those causes,” said the Chairman of the ATA, Dan England.
In 2009, driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted speed limits by the truck driver were factors in nearly 15 percent of single-vehicle accidents and nearly 10 percent of multiple-vehicle accidents that resulted in death. According to recent statistics, speeding on the part of the truck driver was the most prevalent driver-related factor cited in fatal accidents involving a large truck.
The costs to impose rules requiring speed limiters on all commercial vehicles would be relatively modest. The way it would work is that all trucks manufactured after 1992 would have speed-limiter capabilities within the electronic control modules (ECM). A mandate would require simply that the devices be set — and new ones made tamper-resistant.
With the speed limiters, officials are asking that the maximum speed limit for large commercial vehicles be set at 68 miles per hour. With every 1 mile per hour reduction in speed, we can enjoy a 1 percent savings in fuel consumption and an even more significant reduction in the number of fatal accidents.
A large truck that’s going 75 miles per hour takes about one-third longer to stop compared to the same size truck that’s traveling at 65 miles per hour.
Alcohol & Drug Use Common Cause of Alabama Trucking Accidents, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, July 20, 2012
Alabama Trucking Accidents are a Summer Travel Risk, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, July 16, 2012