Research Shows Speed Limiters Provide Truck Safety Benefits

Posted on May 7 , 2012
Louisiana drivers should be happy to learn that new research by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association show significant safety benefits from technology that electronically controls the speed of commercial trucks. For years, the American Trucking Association's (ATA) research has found that speed is a major factor in fatal accidents involving 18-wheelers. According to the ATA, encouraging vehicle drivers to slow down is one of the most effective ways to prevent accidents on the nation's highways. Speed limiter technology may help combat safety problems and reduce the number of truck accidents pointed out by the ATA. Speed limiters use electric sensors connected to the engine computer. The sensors detect how fast a big rig is moving and sends the information to the engine's computer. Once the truck reaches a preset top speed, the computer restricts the flow of air and fuel to the engine. The driver is then unable to exceed the top speed. ATA policy requires a speed limiter in all commercial trucks and sets a national speed limit of 65 miles per hour for all vehicles. Research by the American Transportation Research Institute and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute shows that speed limiters have a substantial impact on commercial truck safety. The results show that trucks equipped with safety limiters have fewer speed-related crashes. Although there are concerns about variations in speed between 18-wheelers with and without speed limiters, research indicates that the safety benefits outweigh these potential negative consequences. The ATA praised the Department of Transportation for sponsoring the study and called for the results to be taken into consideration in future government regulations. Source: Truck News, "New study confirms 'profound' safety benefits from speed limiters: ATA," 3/28/2012.

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