Could limiting speeds prevent truck accidents?

A new federal study has reportedly found that electronically limiting maximum speeds in semis, tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks could significantly reduce the occurrence of truck accidents in Tennessee and throughout the country.

According to the study, there are significant traffic safety benefits to using technology to electronically monitor and limit the top speeds of trucks. The study found that commercial trucks that are equipped with devices known as speed limiters are much less likely to be involved in truck accidents, thereby decreasing the risk to both the truck driver and other motorists on the road.

Specifically, researchers examined data from 20 different trucking companies for three calendar years and compared the crash rates of trucks with and without speed limiters. Trucks that were equipped with the devices were involved in about 11 crashes per 100 trucks per year, a significantly lower rate than trucks without speed limiters, which were involved in 16.4 accidents per 100 trucks per year.

The study was completed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the American Transportation Research Institute and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

About six years ago, the American Trucking Association (ATA) petitioned the FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, asking the agencies to order trucking companies to install speed limiters on all commercial trucks manufactured since 1992. Although that request was unsuccessful, ATA officials hope that this study will help transportation officials see that speed limiters need to become mandatory.

What do you think? Should speed limiters be required in commercial trucks?

Source: Trucking Info, "New Study Finds Safety Benefits of Limiting Truck Speeds," Mar. 29, 2012

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