Commercial trucks may be forced to go slower

Commercial vehicle drivers in West Virginia and throughout the country may be subject to stricter laws regarding speeds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are proposing a rule that would decrease the speed that such vehicles could actually travel.

The rule would apply to commercial trucks that weigh over 26,000 pounds. It would require new vehicles to have a device installed that limits the speed. The proposal has specified 60, 65 and 68 mph as the limit, and the final figure will be reached after public comments on the proposal have been received and reviewed.

Currently, there are some states that have speed limits for commercial drivers that can result in tire blowouts because the speeds are greater than the tires are designed to drive. Most tires for commercial trucks are not intended to exceed 75 miles per hour. Tire manufacturers warn that tires can blow out and potentially contribute to crashes and other safety issues. Five states have speed limits of 80 mph or higher. The government argues that capping speeds can help reduce the over 1,100 fatal accidents that occur each year. However, those against the measure argue that limiting the speed could cause more accidents when faster-moving passenger cars suddenly encounter slow-moving trucks. Others argue that truckers usually travel at lower speeds than the posted speed limit so such a measure is not necessary.

Semi truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to occupants of smaller vehicles. In the event that such an accident was caused by a negligent truck driver or trucking company, an attorney could be of assistance to an injured victim in seeking compensation for medical bills and other losses.

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