Is slower really safer?

January 30, 2014 7:26:20 PM PST
The debate over truck speed limiter mandates is a highly contentious issue in the trucking industry. While Road Safe America and the American Trucker Association, the nation's largest national trade association for the trucking industry, are pushing for federal mandated trucker speed limiters called governors, others say slower isn't really safer.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) believes truck speed limiters actually make highways less safe. In a statement, OOIDA Media Spokesperson Norita Taylor writes "highways are safest when all vehicles travel at the same relative speed. Speed limiting trucks would make highways less safe because they would create a speed differential that would increase the likelihood for collisions. Data available from the government shows that motor carriers that use speed limiters have poorer safety ratings than other carriers."

A 2012 U.S. Department of Transportation study on the effectiveness of speed limiters on trucks found a "profound safety benefit for trucks equipped with an active speed limiter" and that "research on the potential drawback of speed deviations among vehicles that could occur due to the interaction of a speed limiter equipped vehicles and those without speed limiters seems to be far outweighed by the significant safety benefits associated with a reduction in absolute speed afforded by speed limiters."

US DOT FMCSA Speed Limiter research:
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/research-technology/report/Speed-Limiters.pdf
Federal Large Truck Crash Causation Study:
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/research-technology/analysis/fmcsa-rra-07-017.htm
Latest federal truck crash trend data:
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/LTCO2011/2011LargeTruckCrashOverview.aspx
OOIDA article questioning FMSCA speed limiter research:
http://www.landlinemag.com/Magazine/2012/AugSep/Section2/stick-to-science.aspx
Road Safe America:
http://roadsafeamerica.org/


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