Speed limiters could help save lives

Learn about the proposed law that would change rules for large trucks. Find out what a speed limiter is and how it can help to save lives.

Large trucks pose a risk to other vehicles on the road simply because of their large size and weight. In an accident situation, it is the passenger vehicle that almost always receives the most damage. Because of this risk, the government works to try to find ways to minimize the chances of truck accidents. New legislation, the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019, seeks to do this through the introduction of speed limiters on all large trucks.

How speed limiters work

Trucks.com explains a speed limiter keeps a truck from going over a set speed limit. It helps to prevent speeding. The Federal Motor Carrier Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration want speed limiters placed on all big trucks to help prevent speeding which makes these trucks more dangerous and leads to serious accidents.

Use of speed limiters

The FMCA and NHTSA want these limiters on all trucks, but initial roll out of the law would probably not require older trucks to have them. Some companies already use speed limiters. This that do not, often cite expense as a big reason why they do not use them or want them on their trucks.

Trucking Watchdog notes that those specifically opposed to the requirement say they would introduce new safety concerns. When large trucks cannot go over a certain speed, it may create more traffic jams. It would prevent large trucks from being able to safely pass each other, which could hold up multiple lanes on highways.

In addition, they feel that since older trucks may not have to meet the requirement that it would lead to owners trying to keep those trucks on the road long past when it is safe to do so. Thus, creating a dangerous situation where trucks are more prone to mechanical failures.

Benefits of speed limiters

Still, research shows the benefits of speed limiters will likely outweigh any potential negatives, and the American Transportation Association support the use. Many serious accidents are a result of speeding and completely preventable by people driving the speed limit. By forcing large trucks to go the speed limit, it can have an outstanding effect because even a slight reduction in speed reduces the impact during an accident by a lot.

Since some companies already use them and see no impact on their profits from doing so, it seems to void the opposition's statement that it is too costly to implement the law. Besides, limiting speed helps save of energy use, reduces fuel costs, lowers insurance rates and decreases emissions. These are benefits that not only help the trucking companies but also everyone else.

Speed limiters are a controversial subject. After all, the faster a truck can move freight, the more a company can make. However, getting from point A to point B safely should be the main concern. Speed limiters could help eliminate a top cause of truck accidents, and if you have been in a truck accident, then you can appreciate this. To find out more about trucking accidents contact Marynell Maloney Law Firm, PLLC.