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Speed limiters and other tech may help reduce truck crash rates

Many truckers in Virginia and across the U.S. are speeding to meet deadlines. This puts a lot of passenger car motorists at risk. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration states that 72% of those who die in collisions involving trucks and passenger vehicles are occupants of the latter. In the effort to check the increase in truck crashes, some trucking companies are looking to speed limiters and other technology.

Speed limiters are on all heavy-duty trucks built since 1992, yet there is no federal mandate regarding them. The NHTSA did propose a rule requiring their use, but this proposal failed in 2017. Many trucking companies are also installing devices like collision warning and lane departure warning systems, roll stability control and in-cab cameras.

Maverick Transportation is one case in point. This mid-sized company based in the Midwest has installed a wide range of such safety tech on its fleet of 1,800 trucks. As a result, the company saw only one accident that was reportable to the Department of Transportation last year (reportable accidents are those that involve injuries and/or require the truck to be towed away).

In addition, Maverick is addressing the max speeds of its trucks. Through the use of software in the trucks themselves, the company has set speed limiters to 65 mph. This is regardless of what speed limits in other regions might allow.

Besides speeding, there are many possible ways for truckers to be negligent behind the wheel. For example, they could drive distracted, drowsy or impaired. Negligence can form the basis for a personal injury case, but those who wish to pursue one with a trucking company may want a lawyer. An attorney could take on a trucking company's legal team.

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