The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are agreeing that something must be done to stop speeding commercial vehicles. A proposal is being discussed by both Department of Transportation agencies to put speed limiting devices on big rigs and commercial buses. Speeding is a major cause of commercial vehicle accidents. Last week’s bus accident outside of New Orleans is an important reminder of what can happen when commercial drivers speed.
At the moment, NHTSA and the FMCSA want mandatory speed limiters of 60 to 68 miles per hour. However, both agencies are seeking public input to explore other speed options. Commercial carriers would be required to maintain the devices and ensure they are in working order.
Why is this Proposal Important?
Many commercial vehicles weigh in excess of 25,000 pounds. Each mile per hour counts when it comes to preventing fatal accidents involving such large and heavy vehicles. If we use truck crashes as an example, DOT estimates suggest 1,000 fatal accidents are caused every year by speeding big rigs.
Some commercial vehicles already do use speed-limiting or recording devices known as electronic control modules. These devices are often used to help prove fault in bus or truck accidents.
Can Regulators Prevent a Major Cause of Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
If this idea sounds familiar, it is because it was first proposed in 2006. In the event the rule is finalized by the FMCSA, it would go into effect in 2018. This would coincide with another potential rule requiring commercial trucks to use electronic logging devices, which would make it easier for roadside inspectors to catch truckers violating hours of service rules.
Technology is proving to be extremely useful for preventing commercial vehicle accidents. However, it is up to commercial carriers to ensure their employees are driving responsibly.
The Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat, LLP, can help hold trucking companies accountable for causing accidents.