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Steven M. Lee, PC

Q:
I’ve heard a lot of buzz lately about speed governors in trucks. Would these help reduce truck accident risks?

A:

Speed governors, or Electronic Control Modules (ECM), are an interesting topic in the trucking industry. Many trucking companies already equip their trucks with these governors to limit their trucks’ top speeds, and the United States Department of Transportation mentioned last year that speed governors would be made mandatory on many commercial trucks in coming years.

In theory, this is a very difficult proposal to argue with. Even the trucking industry, which tends to be widely opposed to most government mandates, is overwhelmingly in favor of speed governors. Most trucks are already manufactured with speed governors, and all most companies will need to do is set the governor to a certain speed cap, which will prevent the truck from travelling above that rate of speed. While no official speed cap has been mentioned, many anticipate that it will be 68 miles per hour.

Are Speed Governors Only in Big Rigs?

Believe it or not, you are more familiar with speed governors that you think. Most standard passenger vehicles have governors that limit their speed to 110 miles per hour. These speed governors are rarely mentioned since so few cars will ever reach that speed, but imposing a maximum speed on trucks within standard travelling speeds could make a massive difference in truck accident injury and fatality statistics.

Speed is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. With such massive weight—often up to 80,000 pounds—stopping distance is increased dramatically, which leads to serious accidents that may have otherwise been avoidable. Of course, depending on weather and road conditions, travelling well under the speed limit may still be considered negligent speeding, and these are the times where a speed governor would do little to protect you and your family.

Of course, many argue that speed governors may exacerbate dangerous situations caused by cars trying to pass slow-moving trucks. With trucks limited to speeds slower than typical highway traffic, more passenger vehicles may attempt risky passing maneuvers that could lead to serious accidents.

Don’t Let Speed Governors Lull You Into a False Sense of Security

No matter what the new ECM mandate sets as top speed, there is always the possibility for a truck driver to operate negligently. If you have been hurt, make sure that you obtain the compensation that you deserve following your accident—call Steve Lee today to set up your free consultation.

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