Slowing Trucks Down
Unfortunately when a big rig, especially one that’s been loaded down with product, is in a wreck it can be fatal for everyone involved. How many of us have driven past an eighteen-wheeler that’s been turned over and hoped the driver was ok? Imagine these large trucks involved in a wreck with other, smaller vehicles and the image is gruesome and alarming. How can we make it so these massive product movers are able to be safer and avoid being in a collision as often as they are? This is question posed to the NHTSA and the DOT which together came up with a possible solution.
In over 23 percent of the accidents that involved a big truck one of the key factors was speed. A vehicle that weighs over 26,000 pounds needs to have its speed limited in order to keep it safer on the road. The speed which has been proposed isn’t going to slow these big trucks down too much, but it will help keep them safer if they are limited to a speed that would only max out at 68 mph. What might be surprising is the fact that the trucking industry supports this speed reduction.
Why would it be a surprise that the trucking industry wants to limit the speed of the trucks on the road? The main reason this is a shock is the fact that truckers often get paid by how fast they can get from one place to the other. This slow down on the highways would cause them to be much slower and arrive later to the destinations, which could have a significant impact on the amount of money a trucker can earn. This would have the greatest impact on those drivers who driver longer distances on a regular basis, but would certainly affect all drivers in some manner.
While surprising that the trucking industry supports a speed limit on trucks the benefits are more than just a reduced number of accidents each year. Some safety organizations actually advocate a limit of sixty mph, which might be taking it a bit far, but the benefits include an improved reduction of CO2 emissions and better overall fuel efficiency of these large vehicles which can enjoy stopping for fuel less often than they do currently. Safety, lower emissions and better fuel mileage all make sense as to why the trucking industry would want to apply these speed limits on trucks.
How would these big trucks be limited to the speeds proposed? It wouldn’t be just by asking law enforcement officials to step in and ticket them more often. These limits could be imposed by adding a limiting device to be installed on every heavy truck that drives on the roads at all. Some companies have already begun to do this by adding these devices to their fleet to help improve the potential for these big trucks to be able to haul their freight in a safer and more environmentally friendly manner.