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Speed Limiters Next Step in Reducing Truck Accidents?

Most of us have seen news footage of what can happen when a large 18-wheeler collides with a passenger vehicle. It is not uncommon for these truck accidents to cause serious injuries or death to those in the smaller vehicles. Finding a way to make trucks safer has long been an area of emphasis for many federal and state agencies.

Because of the size of tractor trailers, it can be difficult for drivers to make the vehicles perform the moves necessary to avoid an accident. A lane change that can take a split-second for a passenger car can require extensive planning by a truck driver. Making these moves without proper planning can cause the driver to lose control.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently released results from a study concerning the use of speed limiters in big rigs. A speed-limiting device prohibits a truck from traveling over a certain programmed speed. The American Trucking Association had recommended these devices in the past, and the FMCSA conducted this study to learn if the devices were effective. Since speeding is a factor in many crashes, officials wanted to know exactly what could be done to address the issue.

The study determined that having a speed limiting device installed provided many safety benefits to drivers and other motorists. Also, trucks without the devices had a higher crash rate than those equipped with speed limiting technology.

The agency will use this information to decide on pursuing a rule that would make speed limiting devices mandatory for all commercial vehicles. Reducing speeds of commercial vehicles may help make roadways safer for everyone.

Source: Truck News "New study confirms 'profound' safety benefits from speed limiters: ATA," March 28, 2012.

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