The Debate Over Speed Governors and Truck Accidents
Because of the substantial dangers that large commercial trucks pose, many strides have been made in an attempt to make the commercial trucking industry as safe as possible. In fact, many trucking companies have adopted a “safety culture” that involves developing and implementing new policies and rules to help prevent unsafe behaviors by the truck drivers in order to protect motorists and reduce liability.
One particular unsafe driving behavior that companies have been trying to prevent is speeding. Speeding in a large tractor-trailer that may weigh up to 80,000 pounds is extremely risky, as the truck driver may not be able to stop if needed or the driver may lose complete control of the truck. These are only a few of the ways that speeding can lead to a devastating truck accident and serious injuries.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers continue to speed despite the grave risks for many reasons. Some drivers want to complete deliveries faster to earn more money or just want to make it home to their families faster. No matter what the reason behind speeding may be, however, it is still an extremely dangerous practice and many trucking companies are working to prevent speeding.
What are speed governors?
One method trucking companies use to attempt to curb speeding is by installing a device called a speed governor1 on each truck in the fleet. These devices limit the maximum speed that a truck can travel and, many times, the top speed is set below the regular speed limit to make certain trucks do not travel too fast. Trucking companies hope that speed governors will significantly reduce the risk of accidents by effectively preventing truck drivers from violating the speed limit.
Controversy regarding speed governors
Though speed governors are intended to prevent accidents, many truck drivers vehemently disagree, especially regarding companies that set the maximum speed too low. Many companies set the speed lower because certain areas the truck driver may encounter as they travel across the United States may have speed limits that are lower for commercial vehicles. However, commercial drivers believe that having speed governors that force them to travel at a rate of speed that is less than the surrounding traffic actually increases the danger and chance of collisions. They argue that the reduced speed may make it more difficult for drivers to effectively pass cars when necessary or keep up with the natural flow of traffic. For instance, if a truck traveling at 55 miles per hour needs to change lanes in front of a car driving at 65 miles per hour, it could result in the car colliding with the back of the truck.
In addition, some trucking experts believe that speed governors may actually encourage unsafe behaviors in some drivers. This is because many drivers have figured out how to get around the speed limitations usually set by speed governors. In fact, there are certain products on the market specifically intended to allow drivers to disable the speed governors on their trucks. These products further prevent the data recorder2 (“black box”) on the truck from ever registering the true speed at which the driver was traveling. Many believe that this ability to disable the speed governors creates “rogue” truck drivers who then tend to travel even faster than they would without any speed governor in the first place.
Contact an experienced Clearwater truck accident lawyer for a free consultation today
Commercial truck accidents have the potential to cause devastating damage and catastrophic injuries to motorists. If a truck driver disables a speed governor or other safety device in order to go against traffic laws or safety policies, that driver should be held responsible for all the injuries and losses suffered by victims and their families. Truck accident cases have the potential to be very complicated, however, so you always want to have the assistance of an attorney who has particular experience handling truck accident cases. If you have suffered injury due to the negligence of a commercial driver, please do not delay in consulting with the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida. We offer free consultations with no obligation, so call today at 727-451-6900 for help.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756