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Report: Speed Limiters Would Reduce Truck Accidents

A recent report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration concludes that the adoption of speed limiter devices in trucks would drastically cut down on the number of serious truck accidents. Truck accidents are among the most deadly types of crashes in California. The likelihood of a fatality or catastrophic injury increases with the speed of the truck involved in a crash.

Speed limiters are devices that come standard in most recently manufactured trucks. Speed limiters can be programmed to prevent a truck from going above a certain speed and password-protected to ensure that a truck driver doesn’t bypass the device.

Speed was a relevant factor in 8 percent of all truck accidents involving large trucks according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2008 statistics. A separate study found that 22.9 percent of large truck crashes and over 10 percent of truck/car crashes involved drivers who were going too fast for the conditions of the road.

The recent FMCSA study is the most comprehensive look at the impact of speed limiters. Researchers looked at data representing 138,000 trucks involved in more than 15,000 crashes and found that there was a “profound” safety benefit for trucks that had active speed limiters. Trucks that had speed limiters were greatly less likely to be involved in serious accidents and there was a drop in speed limiter-relevant accidents for these drivers.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, FMCSA, “Research on the Safety Impacts of Speed Limiter Device Installations on Commercial Motor Vehicles: Phase II” March, 2012