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Should speed limiters be required for trucks?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2022 | Auto Accidents

Huge trucks travel the roads in Texas on a daily basis. Such a large presence of these vehicles can pose more risks of truck accidents. However, some safety agencies are urging speed limiters to be put in place.

What are speed limiters?

Speed limiters are restrictions placed on large commercial trucks as a way to prevent excessive speeds. Huge trucks have braking systems that differ from those found in cars and other passenger vehicles, resulting in more time needed to come to a complete stop.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which regularly conducts surveys on safety, has urged the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the federal government as a whole to create a plan to require speed limiters placed on trucks.

The FMCSA has said that it intends to make public a notice to follow up on a 2016 proposed rule in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to set a maximum speed that commercial trucks are allowed to travel. Although the proposed plan didn’t become a final regulation, there were discussions of the maximum speed limit being set to anywhere from 60 miles per hour to up to 68 miles per hour.

If a speed limiter rule goes into effect, it would apply to all commercial trucks that travel on an interstate basis and have a gross vehicle weight of over 26,000 pounds. Those vehicles also have electronic engine control units.

Why is it so dangerous when trucks travel too fast?

Truck accidents are more likely to happen when a commercial truck is traveling at too high a speed. The size, weight and center of gravity can all increase the risk of a motor vehicle accident. Trucks also require extra time and more space to come to a complete stop even if they are not speeding. A crash involving such a huge, heavy vehicle is more likely to be severe and result in catastrophic injuries and even death.

While critics state that regulating commercial trucks’ speed limits, the IIHS believes that speed limiters could decrease the rate of truck accidents and make roads safer.