New Research Shows Limiting Commercial Truck Speeds Improves Safety

It may seem like common sense that when commercial trucks go slower they are involved in fewer crashes. Unfortunately, truck drivers needing to travel a certain number of miles each day may sometimes be tempted to drive faster than they should. This is where a technology called a speed limiter comes into play. Such devices limit the top speed semis can travel; and a new study shows they have proven quite beneficial at reducing 18-wheeler accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released research earlier this week that demonstrated the safety benefits of speed limiters. Researchers found “multiple analyses indicated a profound safety benefit for trucks equipped with an active [speed limiter].”

The study looked at data from 20 carriers over three years. Those trucks with a speed limiter had a crash rate of 11 collisions per 100 semis per year, whereas those without speed limiters averaged 16.4 crashes for every 100 trucks over the same period.

For several years, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) has been advocating for the FMCSA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to require speed limiters on all commercial vehicles built after 1992. According to the ATA President, “This study strengthens [the] ATA’s case, and we call on both agencies to swiftly move forward with rulemakings to ensure that these devices are required on as many trucks as possible.”

Hopefully regulators will take action and enact a speed limiter mandate on all commercial trucks. Such a mandate would likely prevent truck accidents and make the roads safer for all motorists.

Source: Trucking info, New Study Finds Safety Benefits of Limiting Truck Speeds, 29 March 2012