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Could Speed Limiters Prevent Deadly California Truck Crashes?

Tractor-trailers and other large trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger vehicles and are significantly taller, which can allow smaller vehicles to slide underneath trucks in crashes. As a result, San Diego crashes involving large trucks often lead to very serious injuries for the occupants of the smaller vehicles. In 2014, more than 100,000 people were injured in large truck crashes in 2014. A total of 3,660 people died.

To help deter serious truck collisions, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently proposed a new rule that would require heavy-duty vehicles to be equipped with devices that limit their speeds on U.S. roadways. The rationale is that limiting the speed of these heavy vehicles would reduce the severity of crashes involving these vehicles and reduce the resulting fatalities and injuries.

Under the proposed rule, all newly manufactured U.S. trucks, buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating more than 26,000 pounds must come equipped with speed limiting devices. The proposal does not establish a specific maximum speed, but notes the benefits of setting the maximum speed at 60, 65, and 68 miles per hour. According to the agencies, limiting the speed of heavy vehicles to 60 mph would save 162 to 498 lives annually, limiting the speed of heavy vehicles to 65 mph would save 63 to 214 lives annually, and limiting the speed of heavy vehicles to 68 mph would save 27 to 96 lives annually.

“This is basic physics,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “Even small increases in speed have large effects on the force of impact. Setting the speed limit on heavy vehicles makes sense for safety and the environment.”

Large trucks can inflict serious harm on a pedestrian, motorcyclist, or driver of a smaller vehicle. Common injuries include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, bone fractures, lacerations, and internal organ injuries, all of which can require long and costly recoveries. If negligence is to blame for the crash, an experienced San Diego injury attorney can help victims obtain compensation for their losses and put them in the best position to move on with their lives.

If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury in a California truck crash, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. We have the knowledge and experience to obtain the compensation that injury victims deserve.