Large trucks to have top speed limits mandated by DOT

The DOT will soon institute a speed limiter rule on large trucks in the U.S.

In Missouri and across the country, commercial motor vehicles and other large trucks are responsible for a large number of dangerous collisions each year. The size of these vehicles in comparison to others on the road often makes the consequences more significant for individuals traveling in other, smaller vehicles.

In an effort to keep all those on the road safe, the U.S. Department of Transportation is intending to require some large trucks to install speed limiters, often referred to as Electronic Control Modules or ECMs. These devices prevent vehicles from traveling in excess of certain speeds.

The DOT rule would not require all large trucks to install such devices, only those that travel on roads with speed limits of 55 mph or above and that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. In the past, the DOT has suggested such trucks should not exceed 68 mph on the road, although they have not announced their recommended targeted speed limit yet.

Safety experts suggest that imposing speed limits on large trucks would greatly reduce the number of fatal truck accidents in the United States. In fact, some indicate as many as 1,115 deadly accidents could be avoided if ECMs were installed in these large trucks.

Truck accidents on the rise in Missouri and across the U.S.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, over 15 percent of all deadly auto accidents in the state involved commercial motor vehicles in 2011. In total, commercial motor vehicles were involved in over 9 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in Missouri that year - both fatal and nonfatal.

Overall, 120 people lost their lives in large truck accidents in Missouri in 2011. In addition, another 3,479 people suffered injuries in truck crashes in the state that year.

Across the country, the number of people killed in large truck accidents rose 3.7 percent in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In the United States, 3,921 people were killed in large truck accidents that year. The vast majority of the fatalities caused by such collisions involved occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash.

When a truck accident occurs, the driver responsible for the collision should be held accountable for the serious damage done in the crash. If you or someone you love has been injured in a large truck accident in Missouri, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney, who will work on your behalf to protect your interests.

Keywords: truck accidents, speed limiter