Speed may be the biggest reason why there was an overall increase in large truck crash deaths between 2009 and 2017. Road Safe America has analyzed federal data showing such an increase in all but six states and found that most of the states with the largest increase have truck speed limits of 70 mph or more. Truckers in South Carolina should be aware that such speeds are unsafe for vehicles weighing over 80,000 pounds.
Road Safe America asserts that many of these fatal accidents could have been prevented if the law required vehicle safety technology like automatic emergency braking and speed limiters. The former is able to alert drivers to stationary or slow-moving objects, and if drivers don’t react in time, it can apply the brakes for them. The latter determine a truck’s maximum speed.
Speed limiters are especially recommended with the non-profit suggesting a maximum of 65 mph. This speed takes into account the longer stopping distance of trucks and gives drivers more time to avoid crashes. Road Safe America is not alone in recommending these. NHTSA and the FMCSA proposed a speed limiter mandate back in 2016, though it fell through.
Other countries already require speed limiters. The devices have been built into American big rigs since the 1990s. In a national survey, 80 percent supported the idea of such a mandate.
Speeding drivers will be responsible for any accidents they cause. Accident victims who wish to file a claim against a trucking company may want to hire a personal injury lawyer who focuses on truck accident cases. They might then find out how much they are eligible for depending on the degree to which they contributed to the crash. If retained, their lawyer may be able to handle negotiations and prepare the case for court should a settlement not be agreed upon.