A new report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Office of Analysis, Research and Technology has determined that commercial trucks with speed limiters have a 50 percent lower crash rate than those without the safety devices. Speed limiters, known technically as “intelligent speed adaptation”, electronically monitor trucks’ speed and prevent them from passing a certain mile per hour limit.
The report focuses on truck crashes in which a speed limiter would be relevant. Relevance is determined by crash location, type of crash, the crash narrative and other factors like weather. In these conditions, trucks without speed limiters experienced five crashes per 100 trucks annually, while those with the speed limiters experienced only 1.4 crashes per 100 trucks each year.
The report also provides data on overall crash rates for trucks. In all crashes, not just those relevant to speed limiters, trucks without speed limiters experienced 16.4 crashes per 100 trucks annually and those with limiters experienced 11 crashes per 100 trucks each year.
Inspired by the report, safety advocates would like federal lawmakers to pass legislation requiring the installation of speed limiters in all commercial trucks. Currently, 60 to 80 percent of commercial trucks already have speed limiters installed.
How Will Speed Limiters Impact the Severity of Truck Accidents?
An April 2011 report by the FMCSA determined that speeding was the primary factor in commercial vehicle accidents. The report identified that many laws, much funding and increased law enforcement has been dedicated to reduce speeding, but that speeding still remains a major safety concern.
A law requiring speed limiters for trucks which includes a reasonable mile per hour limit would help reduce instances of speeding in large trucks, which would hopefully reduce the severity of large truck crashes.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving a speeding commercial truck, please contact a personal injury attorney familiar with large truck accidents who can help you understand your legal options.