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Large trucks will soon have speed limiters to reduce collisions


A new DOT rule will soon require some large trucks to install speed limiters, in the hope that these will reduce fatal truck accidents in the U.S.

When driving down the highway, have you ever suddenly been passed on one side by a large truck barreling down the road? Chances are, if you drive with any amount of regularity, you have experienced this nerve-wracking situation. The comparative size of the truck to any other vehicle on the road is enough to cause concern among other motorists.

Recently, the Department of Transportation announced its intention to limit the maximum speed allowed by truck drivers across the country. The DOT is planning to require large trucks – those that weigh in excess of 26,000 pounds – to have Electronic Control Modules installed to limit their top speed.

Electronic Control Modules are also referred to as ECMs or electronic governors. The devices are already present in many large trucks. The rule could take effect in October 2014.

Only trucks that travel on roadways with speed limits posted at a minimum of 55 mph would be required to install the ECMs. While a specific speed to which these trucks will be limited has yet to be announced, the DOT has previously mentioned a top speed of 68 mph as reasonable.

According to those in support of ECMs, their installation would prevent around 1,115 fatal large truck accidents in the United States each year. Large trucks traveling at faster speeds are more likely to cause fatal collisions than those moving at slower speeds. In fact, 73 percent of fatal truck collisions occur on roads with speed limits posted at 55 mph or more, according to the petition to institute the ECM rule.

Large truck collisions a serious concern in New Jersey

In New Jersey, 59 people were killed in large truck accidents in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The year prior, 53 people were killed in such collisions, mimicking the national trend of increasing fatalities caused by large truck accidents.

Across the country, the number of people who lost their lives in large truck accidents increased by 3.7 percent in 2012. In total, 3,921 people died in collisions involving large trucks in the United States that year.

When someone is injured in a large truck accident or when someone is killed in such a collision, the responsible party should be held responsible for the harm caused in the crash. If you have been affected by a large truck accident, you should consider seeking the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney, who will be able to inform you about your rights.

Keywords: New Jersey, large truck, accident