New Legislation Aimed at Reducing Commercial Truck Accidents

Posted by Jeremy Rosenthal | Nov 07, 2016 | 0 Comments

An August 2016 report discussed an Obama administration proposal that would require the installation of a speed controlling device on “big-rig” trucks. These devices would limit the maximum speed (MPH) that these commercial trucks can reach. The measure endorsed by the Transportation Department's National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) would set the maximum speed at somewhere between 60 and 68 miles per hour. A spokesman for the NHTSA explained how each small incremental reduction in speed equates to a significant decrease in the force of impact when these semi-trucks are involved in a collision.

Some traffic and safety experts believe that the program would reduce the volume of crashes involving large trucks. In fact, the FMCSA says that large commercial trucks and buses accounted for nearly 4,000 traffic fatalities in 2014 and that speeding, in general, takes roughly 1,000 lives annually. This rule was originally introduced back in 2006 but failed to gain much traction. If the measure is approved this year it is likely to take effect in 2018; however, having devices that effectively integrate and are compatible with the dozens of makes and models of these vehicles on the road could prove challenging.

Trucking Industry Feedback

This proposal would apply to vehicles that weigh in excess of 26,000 lbs., which includes big rigs, waste hauling vehicles, dump trucks, some larger buses, and industrial trucks. The motor carriers who own the vehicles would assume the responsibility for maintenance of these speed reduction units. The program has been endorsed by the American Trucking Association (ATA), the industry's largest trade association, and many of the largest national and regional trucking companies. The ATA acknowledged that according to their research and testing, that these speed limiting products do enhance safety, as well as improve fuel economy. The ATA reports that 23% of truck crashes are attributed to excessive speed.

Speed Correlates to Fatalities

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety explained how since 1995 states have gradually been increasing their speed limits. They estimate that tens of thousands of fatalities are a result of this trend in increased speed limits. In 2014, there were over 9,000 deaths that were attributed to excessive speed, which equated to approximately 28% of the deaths from crashes. They estimate that if the speed limits were capped at 60mph across the US that approximately 300 lives would be saved annually.

The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal is a Colorado personal injury firm that has the thorough knowledge of cases involving auto accidents. Car and truck accidents in the greater Denver area often result in devastating consequences. This is why you should contact the office today and take strong legal action in defense of your rights.

About the Author

Jeremy Rosenthal

Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is dedicated to helping his clients seek just compensation for their injuries regardless of the lengths he has to go to or the distances he may have to travel in order to get it.

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