Topic: Trucking Accidents
Although it is common sense that driving above the posted speed limit would increase the likelihood of a truck accident, commercial truck drivers have demonstrated an unwillingness to slow down. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s annual Large Truck and Bus Facts report, speeding remains the most frequent driver-related factor for an accident involving a commercial truck. Moreover, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety maintains that truck accidents led to 3,852 fatalities in America in 2015. In an effort to keep truck drivers and passing motorists safe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is taking action.
Speed Limiter Technology
Pursuant to the Speed Limiter Rule first proposed by the NHTSA in 2016, a large commercial vehicle would be physically incapable of traveling at speeds greater than 68 miles per hour. The proposal would apply to any vehicle weighing more than 26,000 pounds. The proposal is being met with resistance from some in the trucking industry. The American Trucking Association – a leading lobbyist for commercial truckers – argues that if trucks are limited in their maximum speeds, passenger vehicles should be as well. Researchers say that the differential in speeds between cars and trucks is far less important than the increased safety brought about by speed reduction.
Passenger vehicles are at a decided disadvantage regardless of speed differential. A commercial truck can weigh as much as 20 to 30 times that of a passenger vehicle. The impact of a collision with a commercial truck is more damaging when it occurs at higher speeds. Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that car occupants in a crash with an impact speed of 50 miles per hour are 20 times more likely to be fatally injured than car occupants in a crash with an impact speed of 18 miles per hour.
The WHO further maintains that every increase in speed of 1 kilometer per hour raises the risk of a crash which causes injuries by three percent. The position advanced by the WHO is supported by 2012 research by the Virginia Tech University Transportation Institute and the American Transportation Research Institute. The study – which included data from 138,000 trucks and 15,000 crashes – demonstrates that by reducing their speed, many crashes could have been avoided. The faster a commercial truck is moving, the shorter period of time it has to stop.
New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy LLP Fight for Truck Accident Victims
The trucking industry’s resistance to the NHTSA’s proposed speed limiter rule demonstrates a lack of commitment to passenger vehicle safety. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident caused by a commercial truck traveling above the posted speed limit, the New Jersey truck accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy will seek justice for you. Call 732-777-0100 or fill out this online form today. At our offices in Red Bank, Edison, and Toms River, New Jersey, we proudly represent clients throughout the state.