How will proposed speed limiters rule for commercial trucks impact TX?

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and National Highway and Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) may soon require certain commercial trucks to use speed limiters. The rule is intended to reduce the risk of fatal commercial vehicle accidents by using the devices to limit the maximum speed a truck can reach. According to the DOT's March report for 2014, the regulation could be published as early as October of 2014.

If the rule continues to move forward as expected, it will likely apply to trucks traveling through the great state of Texas.

More on the proposed rule

The DOT notes that the cost for implementation of this rule would be low, since most trucks are already equipped with these devices. In contrast, they believe the benefit of this regulation would be very high. The March report notes that the rule would decrease the estimated 1,115 fatal crashes that involve commercial trucks weighing 26,000 pounds or more traveling on roadways with speed limits of 55 mph or higher.

Additional protections offered in Texas

In addition to this proposed national rule, Texas also has state laws intending to increase the safety of those who use the state's roadways. Some of these rules include:

  • Registration. State law requires motor vehicles and trailers be properly registered.
  • Brakes. The motor vehicle and trailer must have operating brakes. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as vehicles with a gross weight that is less than 4,500 pounds.
  • Lights. These vehicles must have at least two headlamps, turn signals, stop lamps and side markers. Additional lighting requirements include the use of reflectors throughout the trailer and backup lamps.
  • Markings. Commercial vehicles that have three or more axles are required to have the name of the owner and the motor carrier registration number visible on the vehicle.

These are just a few of the regulations in effect in Texas.

Remedies available for victims

Violation of these regulations can result in more than just a citation; it can also lead to an accident. Those injured in an accident with a large commercial truck may qualify to receive compensation. This compensation could help cover the high costs of medical care, rehabilitative treatments and other bills associated with the injuries.

Victims generally establish a claim in these circumstances under the legal theory of negligence. Negligence is a legal term that refers to a person's failure to operate the vehicle with care. This failure then leads to an accident and injuries. The victim is generally required to provide evidence to establish the truck driver or company's negligence. Building the case can be intimidating. Victims can contact an experienced commercial vehicle accident attorney to help guide them through the process and explain the options for remedies that may be available.