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Virginia Truck Accident Study: Benefits of Speed Limiting

Posted on Aug 29, 2012

A new Virginia truck accident study has confirmed that preventing speeding may be the single most effective way to prevent commercial truck crashes, and that an effective way to prevent big rigs from speeding is through electronic speed limiters. 

The traffic accident study, which was funded by a number of federal government agencies, examined 20 different truck fleets, 138,000 commercial trucks, and 15,000 truck crashes. It found that electronic speed limiters reduced the chances of a truck crash by 50 percent and that the potential downsides of installing speed limiters (combining some vehicles with speed limiters on the road with other vehicles without speed limiters) did not outweigh the significant benefits of the devices.

In addition, the study found that the cost of installing the speed limiters on trucks was negligible considering the significant reduction in truck crashes. The study’s findings were consistent with other studies that have involved speed limiters, though this most recent study is by far the most comprehensive.

The American Trucking Association was pleased with the results of the study: “This study confirms what ATA has been saying for years: speed kills, and one of the most effective ways to prevent hundreds, if not thousands, of crashes on our highways is to slow all vehicles down, including large trucks,” said ATA CEO Bill Graves. Graves went on to say that he looked forward to federal agencies implementing new policies involving speed limiters—and that he hoped new rules were formed as quickly as possible. 

The study was conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the American Transportation Research Institute, and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.