Safety & Compliance

New Study Finds Safety Benefits of Limiting Truck Speeds

March 28, 2012

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New research released this week by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration confirms the safety benefits of using technology to electronically govern and limit the top speed of commercial trucks.
(Photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Transportation)
(Photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Transportation)


The study team, which included the American Transportation Research Institute and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, found that "multiple analyses indicated a profound safety benefit for trucks equipped with an active [speed limiter]."

Data for the study was collected from 20 carriers in calendar years 2007, 2008 and 2009. The overall crash rate for trucks without a speed limiter was higher compared to trucks equipped with an SL (16.4 versus 11 crashes per 100 trucks per year).

"Domain research on the potential downside of speed deviations among vehicles that could occur due to the interaction of [speed limiter]-equipped vehicles and those without [speed limiters] seems to be far outweighed by the significant safety benefits associated with a reduction in absolute speed afforded by [speed limiters]," the study says.

Six years ago, ATA petitioned FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to mandate the use of speed limiters on all commercial motor vehicles manufactured since 1992. "This study strengthens ATA's case and we call on both agencies to swiftly move forward with rulemakings to ensure that these devices are required on as many trucks as possible," says ATA President Bill Graves.

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