Lower Speeds Decrease Truck Accidents
A 2012 federally-funded study conducted by the Virginia Tech University Transportation Institute and the American Transportation Research Institute, revealed that speed reduction decreases the number of truck crashes on U.S. roadways. The study included data from 20 fleets, 15,000 crashes, and 138,000 trucks.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has used the study as supporting evidence for its new proposed rule to mandate Speed Limiters on commercial vehicles. The Speed Limiter Rule would physically prevent trucks from exceeding a maximum speed of up to 68 miles per hour.
The anti-safety trucking industry lobby has objected to the speed limiter rule. The trucking industry has demanded that if trucks must have speed limiters, then the NHTSA should also mandate a national maximum traffic speed limit of 65 mph to keep the differential between trucks and cars relatively equal. However, there is overwhelming evidence that the safety benefits from speed reduction far outweigh the dangers of speed differentials.
If implemented, speed limiters on commercial trucks will prevent crashes, increase overall traffic safety, and decrease the severity of injuries from crashes.