Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lawmakers Propose Speed Capping Technology for Trucks

What is being done to protect motorists from truck accidents?

In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal  Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed a rule that would require commercial trucking companies to install speed-capping technology in all vehicles in their fleets. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, in the midst of his reelection campaign, recently called on the Department of Transportation to approve the rule.

The proposed technology would limit truck speeds to 65 miles per hour and is designed to protect motorists and passengers in other vehicles. According to the NHTSA, 126 people died as a result of truck accidents in New York state in 2015, the highest number of deaths in 6 years. In 2014, of the 10,742 truck accidents in New York, 990 were attributed to speeding. Overall in 2014, 3,900 people were killed and 111,000 were injured in accidents involving large trucks across the nation. The question remains as to how effective speed control technology would be given that there a variety of reasons for truck accidents.

Other Causes of Truck Accidents

One common reason for truck accidents is improper maintenance. There are state and federal laws that require trucks to be properly maintained. They must also be routinely tested to ensure brakes, brake lights, steering and other mechanical parts are operating properly. A trucking company that fails to properly maintain its vehicles can be found negligent. 

Another leading cause of truck accidents is driver error. Truckers are typically required to drive long hours and cover a lot of distance in order to meet strict delivery deadlines. These demands often result in driver fatigue which makes truck drivers more susceptible to making mistakes or becoming distracted.

There are state and federal laws that limit the amount of time truckers can drive. They are also required to take regular rest breaks.  In an accident involving a fatigue or distracted trucker both the trucking

company and the driver may be legally responsible. Lastly, drivers who violate traffic safety laws by speeding or driving under the influence can also be held liable.

The Takeaway

Whether the speed capping technology rule will be implemented remains to be seen. Given that speeding was attributed to about 9 percent of truck accidents in New York in 2014, trucks will continue to pose a danger to other motorists and their passengers even without this technology. If you were injured in a truck accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain meaningful compensation.

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