Rule to Protect Drivers from Serious Truck Accidents Appears Dead

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A move to save lives by slowing down speeding trucks may soon come to a screeching halt.

In September 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a federal rule requiring big rigs to be equipped with a speed limiter.  The device would ensure that the tractor-trailers could go no faster than up to 68 mph on the nation’s highways.  The actual maximum speed has yet be established while the NHTSA receives input from trucking concerns, law enforcement and other interested and informed parties.

33,000 Deaths Linked to Higher Speed Limits

A survey released in April 2016 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety quantified the dangerous effects of higher speeds.  Between 1993 and 2013, 41 U.S. states raised speed limits on their highways.  Reviewing fatal motor vehicle crashes during that time, the researchers concluded that the higher speed limits resulted in 33,000 deaths that would not have occurred at previous lower limits.

And the specific need for the truck speed limiter rule was independently established just one month later after it was proposed.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Association, a not-for-profit alliance of groups dedicated to safe trucking, held its annual Safe Driver Week event in October 2016.  During the seven-day program, police throughout the United States and Canada heightened their traffic enforcement efforts.

Speeding Common Violation by Truck Drivers

Almost 20,000 tickets and warnings to truck drivers and drivers of passenger cars were issued in the United States.  In reporting the results, the CVSA noted that about 20 percent of all tickets and warnings issued to truck drivers were for speeding.  Speeding was the second most prevalent unsafe truck driver behavior behind only the umbrella category of “State and Local Moving Violations.”

This mirrored the results of the organization’s 2015 Operation Safe Driver Week.

Now, the new presidential administration’s freeze on federal regulations is expected to ensure that the federal speed limiter rule – which the trucking industry lobbied hard against – will never see the light of day, despite all the evidence pointing to the safety needs for it.

Truck drivers and trucking companies must act responsibly.  When they don’t and they cause catastrophic accidents, they should be held responsible for their reckless acts.

If you had a loved one killed or you were seriously hurt in a wreck involving a commercial truck, an experienced truck accident attorney can represent your legal rights to just compensation.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.

Authored by: Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C. posted in Trucking Accidents on February 17, 2017