Speed-limiters would reduce risk of Houston trucking accidents

Road Safe America, one of the nation’s leading commercial-trucking safety advocates, is calling upon the government to require trucks to install speed-limiting devices.

Houston car lawyers understand the extreme risk tractor-trailers pose to other motorists on the road. Houston trucking accidents typically result in serious or fatal injuries to passenger-vehicle occupants.

As we reported recently, the government is seeking to update its hours-of-service rules, which are meant to reduce the risk of commercial trucking accidents caused by fatigued truckers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more than 380,000 large trucks were involved in accidents in 2008, resulting in the deaths of 4,229 motorists.

Texas trucking accidents claimed 421 lives that year — more than anywhere else in the nation. Road Safe America claims the problem is much more severe when all heavy trucks are taken into account. The organization says motorists are killed at a rate equivalent to two commercial airliners crashing each month, killing all aboard.

“The European Union Countries, Japan, Australia and the heavily-populated provinces of Canada all have laws requiring that speed governors be set at top speeds ranging from 55 mph to 65 mph — Their rate of truck crash related fatalities is lower than ours and we need to catch up,” said Steve Owings, RSA co-founder and president.

Additional efforts by Road Safe America are aimed at improving the lifestyle of the average professional trucker. The organization has been careful not to alienate truckers and has pushed for changes to a pay system that rewards drivers for miles traveled — and thereby pushes many to the breaking point and beyond.

“Rules that slow down the top speed of big rigs will certainly save lives. But, the pay-by-the-mile formula of most in the industry is an incentive to drive fast and long,” said Tom Hodgson, RSA’s executive director. “RSA thinks that the truckers deserve a professional’s wage for the hard and crucial job they do. We want them to get paid for all of their working hours, whether their truck is moving or not, so that safety is the primary concern for all.”

Road Safe America was founded by Steve and Susan Owings after their son, Cullum, was killed in a trucking accident caused by an interstate traffic jam. His vehicle was crushed from behind by a speeding trucker.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor-trailer accident in the Houston area, contact the Stephens Law Firm at 281-623-1701 for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Or contact us through this website.