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Would Limiting Truck Speeds Help Prevent Accidents?

San Diego truck accidents can be devastating, often leading to serious injuries and even death for those in the smaller vehicle. Not surprisingly, large trucks are more likely to be involved in fatal, multi-car accidents than smaller vehicles.

Regulatory efforts to reduce truck speed have been underway for several years. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has not yet finalized a rule requiring the electronic speed limiter on all large trucks be set no higher than 65 miles per hour, despite data confirming that speed is a contributing factor in nearly 20 percent of all fatal truck crashes.

In 2012, a study funded by the DOT found significant safety benefits to limiting the speeds of large trucks. The study is the most comprehensive investigation ever done on the use of speed limiters on commercial trucks.

The DOT study found clear safety benefits of using technology to electronically limit the top speed of commercial trucks. Trucks equipped with speed limiters crashed 50 percent less than those without them, the study said. The results are also supported by previous studies. According to the University of Michigan’s Trucks Involved in Fatal Accidents data, a speeding truck driver was the most common factor cited in fatal car accidents involving a large truck.

The use of speed limiters also has the support of many in the trucking industry. “With that much weight going down the highway, particularly in tough weather, you are much more likely to have a problem. With the sheer mass of a truck, a car will come out on the short end. We’re pleased with the results of the study, and think it will lead to safer highways, and less deaths and injuries,” said Daniel E. England, Chairman of the American Trucking Association.

Of course, there are critics that argue that slowing down commercial trucks can be a hazard if it results in other drivers engaging in risky maneuvers to get around them. They argue that regulators should require technology that makes sure everyone on the road is travelling at a safe speed.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego car accident, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. Relying on more than 30 years of legal experience, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of California injury victims.