Truck drivers in Maryland and around the country are usually paid based on the number of miles they cover and not the amount of time they spend behind the wheel, which gives them an incentive to exceed posted speed limits. Traveling at a high rate of speed is never safe, and it is especially dangerous when the vehicle weighs 40 tons and is difficult to control in emergency situations. Speed-related accident deaths have soared in recent years, which is why the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has decided to make speed the focus of its next Operation Safe Driver safety initiative.
Speeding trucks and tire blowouts
Excessive speed can cause a truck to crash even when the road is clear and weather conditions are favorable. This is because truck tires are not designed to tolerate the stresses of high speeds, and they can wear prematurely and fail without warning when pushed beyond their design parameters. When this happens on busy highways, motor vehicle accidents are difficult to avoid.
Lawmakers and regulatory agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hope to address the issue of speeding trucks by mandating speed-limiting devices in all tractor-trailers. Most other countries already have such regulations in place because studies have found that speed limiters can reduce high-speed collisions by up to 50%. When Ontario introduced a speed limiter rule, truck accidents in the province fell by 24%.
A danger to all road users
The FMCSA and NHTSA efforts to mandate speed limiters should be supported because speeding trucks pose a danger to all road users. Efforts to regulate the trucking sector have been thwarted by industry groups in the past, but the recent and alarming rise in speed-related deaths may make stricter rules more difficult to oppose in the future.