Should the U.S. Require Large Trucks to Use Speed Limiters?

Large trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. This is not to say that commercial truck drivers are necessarily more negligent than other drivers. However, because these trucks are so large - a fully-loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds - the average 4,000 pound car simply does not stand a chance in a collision.

Despite this danger, large trucks are a crucial part of the American economy. Since it would be impractical to argue that trucks should be taken off the road, regulators have instead focused on finding ways to prevent truck accidents from happening.

Lately, they have been looking toward strategies to mitigate the negative effects of speeding. Speeding is one of the most common - and most preventable - causes of commercial truck accidents.

To that end, a number of trucking companies have started installing "speed limiters" on their fleet vehicles. The limiters prevent the vehicles from exceeding a predetermined maximum speed, usually about 65 miles per hour.

The American Trucking Associations has long been a vocal supporter of speed limiter use. However, others have questioned their efficacy and have balked at what they say is unneeded intrusion into truck drivers' professional decision-making responsibilities.

However, a recent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study shows that speed limiters do work. The investigation found that trucks equipped with speed limiters were 50 percent less likely to be involved in a "speed limiter-relevant" accident than trucks that did not use the devices. The study defined speed limiter-relevant accidents as crashes that could have been prevented if a speed limiter had been used.

The research has led many safety advocates to strengthen their calls for a nationwide speed limiter requirement.

Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuits

Illinois bills itself as the "Crossroads of the Nation." The state is home to 23 interstate highways and ranks third in the nation - behind Texas and California - in total interstate miles.

As such, Illinois drivers cannot go far without encountering a heavy truck. Unfortunately, not all of these encounters will be uneventful. Truck accidents are an unfortunate fact of life.

When accidents are caused by truck driver negligence, injured victims have a right to seek compensation for their injuries in civil court. After an accident, injured victims are encouraged to meet with an Illinois personal injury attorney who can help them understand their rights.

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