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Will a federal speed limit for trucks make the road safer?

In the transportation and logistics industry, time is money. Truck drivers are expected to meet very tight deadlines, which puts them under tremendous pressure. To beat the clock, sometimes truckers are forced to drive without adequate rest or travel at dangerous speeds.

To counteract the dangerous of large commercial vehicles moving at dangerous speeds, federal regulators have proposed a rule that requires speed limiting devices on all new vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds. By limiting trucks to a top speed of 60 to 68 miles per hour, the government hopes to see a decrease in serious traffic collisions. 

The dangers of speeding trucks

According to a recent CBS report, about 740 people are killed each year in collisions involving large trucks at high speeds. Speeding increases the risk that a truck driver will lose control, causing the truck to jackknife, topple over or fail to stop - all of which can be disastrous for other motorists.

Industry experts disagree

Most of the trucking industry supports the proposed rule and the idea of speed limiters for large vehicles. Proponents of the regulation point to the success of a similar rule in Ontario, Canada, where truck-related fatalities dropped 24 percent in the first year after limiting big rigs to 65 miles per hour.

However, some disagree, arguing that speed limiters will limit drivers' flexibility in responding to dangerous situations. Increasing the speed difference between trucks and other vehicles could lead to more interaction between vehicles - and, as opponents of the new rule believe, more collisions.

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