Post Date - Dec 28, 2022
Many truck drivers get into this line of work because we love the freedom of the open road. So, when it comes to things like dash cams and speed limiters, two hot topics in the industry, should we be thrilled to have them or annoyed they’re even up for discussion? While we definitely understand the concerns surrounding speed limiters and forward-facing cameras, at USA Truck, we believe that the safety benefits to our drivers and to the public make them worth it. Still trying to decide for yourself? Here’s a quick look at these two topics and how they benefit drivers:
Forward-facing cameras, or dash cams, are cameras placed facing out toward the road. While these cameras are not mandatory, they are strongly recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board and utilized by many truck drivers and fleets.
Reduces insurance costs and liability
The FMCSA says that the average cost of all truck crashes is $91,000, which increases to $200,000 if injuries are involved and $3.6 million if there are any fatalities. Statistics tell us that 75% of accidents between motorists and truck drivers are not the truck drivers’ fault. Having access to real-time video evidence is a huge benefit for truckers and fleets when it comes to acquitting companies and truck drivers in crash lawsuits. In fact, several insurance carriers offer discounts when forward-facing cameras are installed. Cameras also help reduce fraud and increase security because scammers and thieves are less likely to do anything when a camera is around.
Footage from forward-facing cameras are also a great teaching tool. The audio and video gained from this footage allows carriers to see where drivers need improvement and re-training, as well as pinpoint areas of focus for new driver training.
Exonerates truck drivers
Many accidents on the road can turn into a he-said, she-said situation. Video footage can aid law enforcement in their investigation to show what happened in the moments before an accident occurred. According to a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, in-cab videos can also show whether or not the truck driver maintained control of the vehicle or if any risky behavior was involved.
Governed speed limiters
Speed limiters are added to a truck’s engine to limit its top speed. The ATA recommends that these are set at 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour on vehicles over 26,000 pounds.
Improved road safety
According to the Truckers Report, commercial vehicles are responsible for 18% of all fatal crashes with speed being the most significant factor. Since this is the case, it’s reasonable to make the connection that placing speed limiters on trucks, and therefore making it impossible for a truck to speed, would decrease the accident rate. A study by the FMCSA showed that trucks with speed limiters have a 50% lower crash rate versus those without limiters.
Better fuel efficiency
Slower driving usually wins when it comes to fuel efficiency. According to TruckingInfo.com, each mile-per-hour over 60 mph indicates a .14 mile-per-gallon drop in fuel efficiency. While it may not seem like much, the amount of miles truckers drive in a day means that this can add up quickly, costing drivers or fleets a lot of money over the course of an entire year. Speed limiters help improve fuel efficiency because the trucks are driving at slower speeds and they’re able to maintain a more consistent speed as well. Many companies have already added speed limiters in order to save money and improve fuel efficiency. These savings are also incredibly noticeable to owner operators since any fuel savings go right back into their pockets.
Studies have shown that slower speeds helps reduce emissions. The more fuel a truck uses, the more carbon dioxide it produces. Holding trucks to a slower speed allows for a greater reduction in emissions.
If you’re interested in becoming an owner operator with USA Truck, now is the perfect time to make the switch! Enjoy a supportive team, reliable freight and consistent pay all while being your own boss and growing your business. USAT owner operators earn $4,500 or more a week and get access to our generous fuel discount program, free EZ Pass, spot-quoted freight with high earning potential, and a $1,500 transition bonus. Our team is happy to help you get started with plates, permits and orientation pay covered up front. Reach out to us today to learn more!