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Truckers may be forced to drive slower

In California and around the country, vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds may soon have their maximum speed controlled by an electronic device. Over 3.5 million trucks already have this tool installed and just need them to be activated. A decision hasn't been made on whether the speed limitations will be forced onto truckers, but the limits under consideration are 60, 65 and 68 miles per hour.

Safety advocates are in favor of the speed caps proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Roadsafe America, originally founded by a man whose son was killed by a speeding truck driver, first proposed a petition to limit truck speeds in 2006. The government believes that capping large vehicle speed will improve road safety. It would also save hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel expenses.

Fourteen states west of the Mississippi have higher speed limits than most of the country. Several allow vehicles to go 80 or more miles per hour. Truck tires are usually designed for 75 miles per hour or less. Going faster than that could cause tire failure. However, the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association believes that the speed cap would cause accidents because the large vehicles would be going slower than the rest of the traffic.

Big rig collisions can cause catastrophic injuries to occupants of other vehicles. A person injured in such an accident may require lengthy and expensive medical treatment and lose income due to an inability to work. If it can be determined that the collision was caused by a speeding or otherwise negligent truck driver, then a lawyer might assist the victim in seeking compensation by preparing and filing a personal injury lawsuit.

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