If a rule proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration passes, it would force any vehicle over 26,000 pounds to drive no faster than 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour. The exact speed is still being debated, and regulators may adjust the limit prior to passage. An electronic device would be used to make sure that such vehicles are not able to go faster than the imposed speed limit.
According to the government, the new rules would help save fuel and save lives. In addition to saving $1 billion in annual fuel costs, it would reduce the number of fatal accidents involving large trucks. On average, there are more than 1,000 such crashes each year. While safety advocates applaud the new rule, those who drive large trucks say it could make the roadways more dangerous.
They claim that they would be forced to drive at slower speeds than other cars and trucks on the road. This could result in cars having to slow down for trucks, which could increase the likelihood of an accident between a large truck and a passenger vehicle. Currently, the rule is in the public comment phase, which will take about 60 days. The rule was first proposed in 2006 and has been stuck in the regulatory process ever since.
In addition to speeding and truck driver fatigue, negligent truck maintenance is sometimes the cause of commercial vehicle accidents. A person who has been injured in one may want to meet with an attorney to determine how best to seek compensation for out-of-pocket medical expenses and other losses.