Tractor-trailer crashes are among the most devastating tragedies on our nation’s highways. The massive size of tractor-trailers, combined with high speeds, causes the complete destruction of anything in their paths, often resulting in serious injuries or deaths. Common sense would dictate that if we could slow these huge vehicles down with tractor-trailer speed limit regulation, we could save lives.
Toward that end, in August of 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed regulations that would require vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 26,000 pounds to be equipped with a speed limiting device (https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/usdot-speed-limiting-devices-nprm).
The proposal has the support of the American Trucking Association. “Speed is a major contributor to truck accidents and by reducing speeds, we believe we can contribute to a reduction in accidents and fatalities on our highways,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, however, is opposed to the new regulation. “Highways are safest when all vehicles travel at the same relative speed,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the OOIDA. “This wisdom has always been true and has not ever changed.” Of course, these smaller companies and owner-operators would be the most affected financially by the regulation, perhaps causing them to value their pocketbook over the safety of American drivers.
The NHTSA and FMCSA asserted that lowering the maximum speeds at which heavy vehicles can travel would decrease the severity of tractor-trailer accidents and the fatalities and injuries resulting from them. Limiting the maximum speed of these trucks would also save $1.1 billion in fuel costs each year. “Setting the speed limit on heavy vehicles makes sense for safety and the environment,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in a statement.
That sounds like a win-win. Unfortunately, some now fear that the Trump administration may quash the proposed regulation or simply ignore it (http://westvirginia.legalexaminer.com/tractor-trailer-accidents/nhtsa-rule-to-install-speed-limiting-devices-on-trucks-may-be-stalled/). Once again, the interests of big business are being prioritized over the safety of the American public.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a tractor-trailer accident, please contact Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. We will only receive a fee in the event of a successful resolution of your case.