Should Electronic Speed Limiters Be Required for Virginia Trucks? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

In 2009, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that 22.9 percent of all commercial truck accidents in the United States involved big rigs that were traveling too fast for conditions. And in 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that at least eight percent of all large truck crashes involved speeding. But, while government agencies have passed laws and regulations to prevent truck speeding, speed-related accidents have persisted across the county.

However, a new study conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has found a possible solution to many speed-related tractor-trailer accidents: electronic speed limiters.

What is an electronic speed limiter?

A speed limiter is a device you can install on your vehicle that interacts with the engine to prevent speeding. It can be set at any number of maximum speeds. In this case, trucks were limited to 65 miles per hour regardless of road conditions and speed limits. While some countries require the installation of speed limiters on commercial vehicles, the United States currently does not have any such requirement.

What did the speed limiter study find?

The study followed 22 truck carriers over three years of driving—a total of over 130,000 trucks and 15,000 truck accidents. It found that trucks equipped with electronic speed limiters had a significantly lower crash rate than trucks without the devices: 11 crashes per 100 trucks per year as opposed to 16.5 crashes per 100 trucks per year. The study also found that the speed limiters did not cause a significant number of issues, as some opponents to the devices claimed prior to the study.

In addition, the study found that the installation of electronic speed limiters would not be an adverse financial cost to trucking companies, especially in light of the reduction in truck accidents that likely would follow.

What’s next for speed limiters?

In the wake of the study, a number of trucking organizations and federal traffic agencies have shared their enthusiasm regarding the future of speed limiters in commercial trucks. They have discussed new regulations that would require such limiters to be installed in commercial trucks, and possibly in public transportation vehicles as well.

The study also has many traffic safety advocates wondering if a national 65 mile-per-hour speed limit should be instituted because of the increasing evidence that speed is a factor in far too many car and truck accidents in America.

Virginia Truck Accident Attorneys

The truck accident lawyers at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan agree that speed limiters may be a great way to reduce the number of big rig accidents and injuries if the study’s findings are accurate. We also want our readers to know that until these electronic speed limiters become required by law, speeding will remain a major cause of all commercial truck accidents. If you believe your truck accident and injury may have been caused by a speeding trucker, contact our attorneys today to set up a free, private meeting. You can reach us by calling 757-460-7776 locally or (833) 997-1774 toll-free.