Think the speed limit for big, commercial trucks is too high? The American Trucking Association agrees that it is. A 68mph speed limit for trucks is being proposed by not everyday car passengers but by a group of trucking companies that make up the American Trucking Association.

The American Trucking Association along with Road Safe America has proposed a 68 miles per hour maximum speed limit for trucks weighing at least 26,000 pounds or 13 tons gross vehicular weight. The 3 mph over 65 mph speed limits is given for increased speed needed when passing.

Most of these trucks already have computer-enforced systems called speed governors, but no law exists that requires them to be activated. Speed governors are attached to a vehicle’s engine to limit their maximum speed. Proponents of the proposal believe that many lives could be saved as excessive speed is a factor in many fatal crashes. Truckers face pressures to go as fast as they can to get all deliveries done, make up for road construction and other delays, satisfy customers who have zero-tolerance late arrival policies, and make expensive payments if they’re independent.

The above factors combined with the sheer size of a truck make accidents not only possible, but also more likely to be fatal if they do occur. Should you be involved in an accident, make sure to:

  • Promptly report the accident.
  • Think about it if the insurance company asks you if they can record the conversation. If injuries exist or if you think the insurance company will say you’re not covered, you may want to contact a law firm first.
  • Get details of the accident, like pictures and names and phone numbers of witnesses.
  • Get insurance details of other people involved in the accident.
  • Keep a written record of conversations with the insurance company.
  • Save bills and receipts for vehicle repair work and medical costs associated with the accident.
  • Be honest with insurance investigators so your claim is not denied.
  • See if you have more than one insurance policy that provides coverage for the accident or injury to use.

How To Get Through the Accident Process With Insurance Companies

  • Don’t admit fault. Have the insurance investigators determine liability.
  • Don’t let time limits to file your insurance claim expire. Be sure to file on time.
  • Don’t take what insurance companies say as the final word. Insurance companies give you low estimated losses.
  • Don’t sign a release or waiver.
  • Don’t accept a check as a final payment unless you are sure it’s a fair compensation for your losses.

Truck accidents differ from car accidents in their limited visibility as well as the extent of damages and injuries due to a truck’s size. Areas beside and behind a commercial truck exist where the driver has limited or zero visibility. Trucks also take longer distances to stop than passenger vehicles do. Because these trucks tend to do greater damage in accidents than cars do, truckers must carry more insurance than other drivers.

How Truck Insurance Differs From Car Insurance

  • Minimum liability coverage of $750,000 is required for vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds and hauling non-hazardous materials
  • Minimum liability coverage of $1,000,000 for hazardous materials and oil
  • Minimum liability coverage of $5,000,000 for passenger trucks, trucks operating portable tanks, and capacity over 3,500 gallons

Some believe that with a new, lowered maximum speed limit of 68 mph, fewer truck accidents will take place. Others, though, believe the new proposal will hardly make a difference and that it will in fact, multiply other problems. Many worry that with truck speed controls in place, other cars will try to pass trucks more often, which is a major cause of car-truck accidents. Others say the proposed speed will cause traffic flow problems. If trucks stay in the right lane because of the lower-imposed speed, cars could have trouble getting on the Interstate or getting over to the right lane to exit.

The petition to lower truck speeds, closed for public comment after March 27, is proposed to make the roads safer for everyone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which studied the proposal in 1991 and said it was not necessary, will have the final say on what happens with the proposal.

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