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NHTSA To Consider Mandatory Speed Limit For Large Commercial Trucks

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, half a million semis, tractor-trailers and commercial trucks were involved in accidents in the U.S. in 2010. Nearly 5,000 people died in these accidents and another 100,000 sustained serious injuries. Most alarming is that these numbers mark an increase from 2009.

In an effort to reduce both the number and severity of crashes involving large commercial trucks, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently considering mandating the use of speed limiters – electronic devices limiting speeds to no more than 68 mph – in all commercial trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds. The agency’s final decision is likely to come in 2012, after experts have had an opportunity to review information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Many groups – including the American Trucking Associations and Road Safe America – applaud the NHTSA’s move. They argue that reducing the speed of large trucks will not only prevent fatal accidents but will also decrease fuel consumption. Other groups, such as the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, argue that speed limiters will make trucks less safe than they already are, citing studies indicating that roadways are safest when all vehicles travel at the same speed.

No matter what the NHTSA decides, keeping highways safe is a pressing issue, in Illinois and the rest of the country. By some estimates, 2012 will see a 20 percent increase of semis, tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles on the road.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident with a large commercial truck, contact an experienced truck accident attorney. A lawyer knowledgeable about truck accidents can assess your case and help you get the compensation you deserve. For more information, contact an attorney today.