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Speed-Limiters Could Reduce Risk of Tennessee Trucking Accidents

A petition filed back in 2006 by Road Safe America along with the American Trucking Associations and numerous leading trucking-safety organizations is finally seeing some progress. The petition is asking that speed-limiting devices be set to 68 on heavy commercial vehicles.

This is not the first time our Tennessee trucking accident attorneys have reported on our Tennessee Truck Accident Lawyers Blog on the slow progress the government is making in ensuring our roadways are safe from undue risk associated with large trucks.

The issue isn’t installing speed-limiting devices on heavy commercial vehicles; the technology has been in trucks since 1992. The issue is there is no rule requiring these devices be set, which would limit the top speed of a truck, as the petition wants, to 68 mph.

Setting speed governors clearly save lives — it’s already being done in other parts of the world. In 1994, the UK decreased truck speeds from 60 mph to 56 mph, cutting fatal truck accidents in half. Australia saw a 26% decrease in truck fatalities after an aggressive campaign to increase truck safety that included setting speed governors.

These countries have far lower truck fatality rates than the U.S. Yet we lack the regulations to control truck speed.

Road Safe America also supports the recent announcement, after years of delays, that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will require the installation of electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) for interstate commercial truck and bus companies.

Installing tamper proof electronic on-board recorders to log drivers hours-of-service (HOS) will finally put an end to the often inaccurate log book system.

Each rule, installing EOBR and setting speed governors, would compliment the other. If speed governors are set but there are no electronic on board recorders, then truckers may cheat in their log book to make up time. If EOBRs are installed but speed governors aren’t set, then truckers are likely to speed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2008 there were 1,041 large truck crashes each day. Almost 12 people a day are killed in large truck accidents and another 246 are injured. In Tennessee almost 7% of all fatal crashes in 2008 involved a large truck.

If you are involved in a trucking accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Marysville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.

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