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Preventing truck accidents with lower speed limits

A proposed federal regulation may result in large vehicles such as buses and tractor-trailers being forced to travel at a lower speed limit than other vehicles in Mississippi and throughout the country. The proposal, which has been put forth by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, would reduce speeds to around 60 to 68 miles per hour for new vehicles with a weight higher than 26,000 pounds. The agencies will decide upon the exact number after receiving public comments.

It has taken a decade for the proposal to come this close to law since it was originally pushed forward by a nonprofit group called Roadsafe America. One founder of that group, whose son was killed in 2002 in an accident with a large truck, expressed frustration over how slowly such changes occur.

Some people in the industry are against the proposal. According to a spokeswoman for the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, having vehicles going at different speeds creates another safety hazard. However, a 2015 report from the Associated Press found that more than a dozen states had speed limit laws for large vehicles that exceeded the safe limit for the vehicles' tires and increased the chances that they would blow out or fail. Permitted to set their own speed limits since the 1990s, states were largely unaware of these dangers.

Truck accidents may cause serious injuries to occupants of other vehicles that require lengthy hospital stays. When such an accident has been caused by a truck driver who was speeding, distracted or negligent in another manner, an attorney could assist a victim in seeking appropriate compensation through a personal injury lawsuit filed against the driver and the trucking company.

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