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Regulators may impose speed limits on trucks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are considering proposals that would mandate the use of speed-limiting devices on commercial trucks. If approved, the regulations would apply to large vehicles of more than 26,000 poundsin Oklahoma and nationwide. The technology would prevent any driver from exceeding the programmed speed limit, which regulators believe should be between 60 and 68 mph.

Opponents of the regulations include the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association. A spokeswoman for the organization explained that limits on speed would prevent commercial truck drivers from moving with the flow of traffic. Dangerous situations could be created when faster-moving cars need to reduce speed for trucks.

The regulatory agencies insist that the regulations would actually increase safety. Every year, over 1,000 crashes involving large vehicles result in fatalities. Slower speeds would also reduce fuel usage and potentially save the trucking industry $1 billion annually.

Whether or not the regulations go into effect, truck accidents remain a daily occurrence. A person in a passenger vehicle struck by a big rig could experience serious injuries requiring lengthy hospitalization. If negligent truck maintenance, speeding, violations of federal trucking regulations or an inattentive driver caused the crash, then the injury victim might want to meet with a personal injury attorney to see how best to proceed. In some cases, filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver or trucking company could result in an award of compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other applicable amounts. Many of these cases are settled before actually going before a jury.