Could truck speed limiters make the roads safer?

Safety advocates who have been pushing for all new trucks to have speed limiter devices that are set to 65 mph took their case to the federal government for the third time. Once again, their efforts fell short.

The coalition headed by the Truck Safety Coalition and Road Safe America has been using statistical analysis and economics to try to convince the government's lawmakers that automatic emergency braking (AEB) and speed limiters that would stop heavy-duty trucks from exceeding 65 mph on the highways are necessary.

They say that their efforts to get anything done through the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) have failed for the last 12 years. Unfortunately, the current administration heading the government is disinclined to add new regulations on most industries -- which didn't help their case when the coalition took it to Congress.

According to information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) -- itself part of the government that is refusing to make changes to trucking regulations -- trucks not using speed limiters are 200% more likely to end up in a crash on the highway than those that do have limiters. Studies also indicate that automated emergency brakes could prevent another 2,500 crashes each year, which would prevent 166 deaths and 8,000 injuries annually.

Speed limiters are now standard in most new trucks. They have been since 1990. They are just seldom turned on. Unlike countries like Germany, France, Japan and Australia, the United States doesn't require their use. The coalition pushing for the change points out that there are about 1,000 wrecks involving big trucks every single day, and this has a huge economic impact on businesses and consumers. The regulations may cost companies a little in the short-run, but the long-term gains are impossible to overlook.

Truck accidents are among the most devastating of all motor vehicle accidents that can happen. Excessive speed often plays a factor. If you've suffered an injury or a loved one was killed, find out more about your options.

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