Focus on commercial trucks: Responding to speed-related crashes
On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Truck Accidents on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.
Ohio is unquestionably one of the nation’s busiest states in terms of commercial goods being transported both within the state and to other points across the country.
Large commercial trucks are constantly moving material in all directions on crisscrossing interstates and freeways, with that heightened level of frenetic and non-stop transport entailing continuous safety risks.
Consider this: Statistics from federal safety agencies estimate that about 1,115 fatal truck accidents involving large carriers occur nationally each year on roads where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour or higher. Such roads are mainstays in Ohio.
Coupled with that troubling statistic is this related information, provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Excess speed was a factor in more than 280 fatal crashes that occurred in 2011 involving large commercial trucks.
There is currently an ongoing debate in the trucking industry as to how to best address and make inroads on the speed-as-a-factor problem in the commercial trucking industry. Both the NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration favor placing speed limiting devices on large trucks, which regulators say will have a notable safety-enhancing effect on national roadways. That view is supported by the national advocacy group American Trucking Associations.
Not all truckers agree. Another lobbying group for commercial truckers — the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, which advocates primarily for smaller trucking enterprises — says that that emphasis on speed limiters is not well-considered, with an OOIDA official charging that it ignores “real-world impacts to safety.”
A chief complaint voiced by the OOIDA is that most fatal accidents involving large trucks do not occur on interstates and other major roadways, where vehicles move at relatively uniform speeds. Rather, they occur on roads where various types of vehicles are moving at differentiated speeds, which are often below the stated speeds for interstates and freeways.
As a result, emphasizing speed limiters does not address the fatal-crash problem in a truly meaningful way. What the OOIDA stresses, instead, is beefed-up training for entry-level truckers that is broad-based and that emphasizes knowledge about their vehicles and roadway safety.
Source: Land Line Magazine, “Feds pursuing speed limiters for heavy trucks lack real-world data,” David Tanner, Nov. 1, 2013