The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims there are 1,115 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks every year. Undoubtedly, traveling over the speed limit is one of the major causes of these accidents. Since commercial trucks are so large, the force of impact generated by these vehicles is gigantic, especially when they are traveling at high speeds. To counteract these tragedies, a new proposal is being brought forward that would lower speeds for trucks and buses.
Earlier this year, a proposal focusing on highway safety was presented by the federal government. If written into law, it would force trucks, buses, and other large vehicles to travel under a certain speed on highways and major thoroughfares. This would be done by retrofitting vehicles over 26,000 pounds with an electronic device that would prevent traveling above a certain speed. The current proposal does not apply to older vehicles, only those made after 1990.
Various speed caps have been considered, such as 60, 65, and 68 mph. However, many truckers are worried about the speed cap being too low. On the highway, many cars, and other small vehicles travel at upwards of 80 miles per hour. If a truck is only traveling at 60 mph, faster vehicles would have to slow down rapidly. It is a well-known fact that differences in speed result in more interaction between vehicles. This increased interaction could lead to more trucking accidents, as people in cars may succumb to road rage or attempt dangerous passing maneuvers.
The goal of this proposal is to decrease the number of crashes and fatalities on America’s highways. The NHSTA predicts that decreasing the speed of trucks and buses to 60 mph would save up to 498 lives annually. If the speed cap were set at 65 mph or 68 mph, it is estimated that 214 and 96 lives would be saved, respectively.
The Danger in Commercial Vehicle Crashes
According to Newton’s second law, the force generated by an object upon impact is dependent on two factors: the objects mass and the speed at which it is traveling. Any truck or bus that weighs over 26,000 pounds is obviously massive, and its size does not tend to change. This means that when a truck is traveling on a highway, the only uncertain variable is its speed. The faster a truck is moving, the more force it will be capable of generating when it collides with another object.
This is why trucks traveling at high speeds present a danger to everyone on the road. If a large vehicle is traveling faster than it should, it will generate an excess of energy. If it crashes into another vehicle, it is likely to tear it apart. This is especially true if the vehicle being hit is small or built out of weak material.
Contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, you are probably worried about how you will recover. You may be drowning in a sea of medical bills, and you might not be able to work because of your injuries. At the Krist Law Firm, our Houston truck accident lawyers will work tirelessly to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable. You deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering.
Call (281) 283-8500 today to see how we can help you put your life back together.