Commercial trucks barreling down the highway can pose a significant danger to motorists. The sheer size and weight of 18-wheelers, compared to average passenger vehicles, makes them much more likely to cause fatal motor vehicle accidents. In an effort to help prevent truck accidents, devices called speed limiters are now being installed on many semis. These devices govern the top speed a truck may travel.
New research provided to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) showed that speed limiters were effective at preventing speed-related truck crashes. The report indicated that those trucks with the devices had a collision rate for “speed limiter-relevant” crashes that was 50 percent lower than semis without speed limiters.
Several factors were considered when determining whether a crash was speed limiter-relevant, including the applicable speed limit and crash type. Contributing factors like weather were also used to exclude some collisions.
The overall crash rate was also lower for trucks equipped with speed limiters compared to those without the devices.
The President of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) supported the findings of the report, “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.”
Regulators appear to be moving swiftly on issuing a rule that would require speed limiters on all heavy trucks, many of which are already equipped with the devices.
Source: TheTrucker.com, Speed limiter report: Trucks with devices had 50% lower ‘speed-limiter relevant’ crash rate, The Trucker News Service, 27 March 2012