Are Freeway Speed Limits for Trucks Too High?

by JRO on July 21, 2013

Accidents are a regular occurrence on freeways around the country. There are concerns associated with the speeds that are established on these freeways. The speeds are generally deemed a tad ‘elevated’ in comparison to the safety requirements suggested by experts. Accidents that involve trucks are often associated with speeding being the major mistake leading to unfortunate results. When trucks are a part of accidents, the damage is usually more severe and damaging. Local and national governments are regularly looking at modifying certain areas of freeways in order to reduce these accidents involving trucks. This piece will focus on the speed limits on freeways and whether they can be considered too high.

Stopping Distance

Opinions on speed limits tend to vary depending on whom one asks. The general consensus features a belief that stopping distance is a key category to focus on. The primary reason that trucks should have a lowered speed limit is because of their stopping distance. A car going at 50 MPH will have a lesser stopping distance in comparison to a truck going at the same speed due to the weight of the car which is less than the weight of the truck. Having the same speed limit for both types of automotive vehicles can lead to an ongoing occurrence of crashes. Reducing the speed limits for trucks may balance the stopping distances between both types.

Natural Speed Limits

Trucks are generally considered slower in terms of the distance covered. It is wise for speed limits to be creating based on stopping time. Since the stopping time of a vehicle is heavily contingent on the weight of the vehicle, it follows that cars and trucks should have differing speed limits.

Faster Speeds Don’t Cause More Damage

A myth is often perpetrated among the driving population revolving around the correlation between driving speeds and accidents. Research has shown that there is no connection between increased speed limits and accidents. The only issue that is of concern revolves around the uniform nature of speed limits. It is a must to have speed limits that are diverse and take a vehicle’s size into consideration. This is where the idea of different speed limits comes into play across the nation for trucks and regular cars.

Most accidents that are reported are due to speeding that is well in excess of the established speed limit. These accidents are due to a driver completely losing control of their vehicle because they did not abide by the set speed limit for that particular highway or road. This is one of the major reasons behind why experts do not believe that faster speed limits are a cause for concern.

Issues with Reducing Speeds

Speed limits are not consistently reduced as, in most cases, reducing speed limits only succeeds in creating increased traffic, rather than decreasing the amount of traffic accidents. The increased traffic created by reduced speed limits may result in the increase of traffic accidents due to the amount of vehicles on the road at a time.


This piece was composed by Jonathan Brenner, a freelance writer based in Omaha, Nebraska who specializes in car mechanics, car repair and maintenance, cars and the law, trucking, transportation and other assorted topics; to learn more about the transportation field visit Next Exit Logistics.




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