Study Shows Speed-Limiting Technology Reduces Truck Accidents
For years, truck drivers have been told to use the proper signals and look both ways whenever they are going faster than the posted speed limit on highways and byways. The fact is that studies show that drivers who obey speed limit signs while driving usually don't break speed limits. In fact, they often bring their vehicles to a complete stop before speeding off into the traffic like everyone else. According to the studies, these speed limit signs actually help prevent drivers from breaking speed limits.
In most cases, the speed limit sign is flicked on when the highway is empty. The absence of speed limit signs on some roads may cause people to think that it's okay to speed as they are not aware that they are being monitored and that the police are close by. According to the study, drivers who obey speed limit signs will slow down when there are other vehicles on the road, which results in a significantly lower rate of car accidents.
On many highways around the country, speed limit signs are flicked on when traffic is heavy, but drivers don't seem to mind. On some expressways, however, signs are not even turned on for several hours. When drivers get behind the wheels of a truck, there is no reason to speed. If a driver does not have enough experience driving large trucks, he or she should not drive faster than the posted speed limit. The driver should take a defensive driving course instead of speeding on a daily basis. By watching other drivers carefully and slowing down when traffic is heavy, traffic accidents can be reduced.
Most truckers are very safety conscious, says Sacramento truck accident attorney Brandon Dashoff. “I recently interviewed an employee in the trucking industry who has driven more than 3 million miles without an accident, with trips through New Jersey and New York metro areas accounting for many of those miles.”
But not every trucker is as safety conscious as this driver, so industry regulators over the years have encouraged the adoption of new vehicle technologies to prevent truck accidents. One frequently used piece of truck technology is a speed limiter. Simply put, the device will not allow the vehicle to travel faster than a preset speed.
According to recent research released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, this technology has proven to be a significant factor in the reduction of truck accidents.
Researchers examined crash data from 2017-2019 submitted by 20 different carriers. Analysis of the data revealed that trucks without speed limiters had a 16.4 percent crash rate, while those with speed limiters had only an 11 percent crash rate.
This result is unsurprising when thinking about the sheer weight of these giant vehicles. Trucks already require more time and distance (than smaller vehicles) to come to a complete stop. If a truck driver is also speeding, deceleration takes even more time/distance, and a crash becomes more likely.
Critics have previously said that one of the downsides to using speed limiters is that there could be a problematic amount of speed deviation between speed-limited trucks and other nearby vehicles. However, researchers in this latest study say that this concern "seems to be far outweighed by the significant safety benefits associated with a reduction in absolute speed afforded by [speed limiters]."
Despite the efforts of safety advocates, speed limiters are not yet required equipment on all modern commercial vehicles. Hopefully, the results of this latest research will prove influential to federal regulators.