Trucking & Speed Limits - Interstate Distributor

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Trucking & Speed Limits

It’s a universal truth that speeding is dangerous. According to the NHTSA, speeding is a factor in 31 percent of fatal accidents on America’s roads. Their report states in part, “Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves and objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a dangerous situation.”

It should also be noted that driving faster than the posted speed can make a driver liable for any accident that may occur. Recent court cases have seen criminal charges brought against CMV drivers who failed to follow federal regulations.

Your stopping distance is amplified by speed. Doubling your speed triples your stopping distance. Cars are one thing, but of course trucks stop slower than that.

With so much riding on the line, here are some ideas to do maintain a safe and legal speed:

  • Plan your trip – Be sure you know where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there. Don’t forget to account for such factors as weather, traffic, and time of day.
  • Stay alert – be prepared for speed reductions such as in construction zones, around curves, or when entering a residential area.
  • Adjust your speed for conditions – just because the speed limit is 60 mph doesn’t necessarily mean that is a safe speed in all conditions. Be sure to slow down if visibility, traction, or other factors are less than ideal.
  • Use your cruise control – if you find yourself creeping above the speed limit, remember to set your cruise control to a safe and legal speed. Just remember your speed will increase when going downhill, so you still need to monitor your speed, and never use the cruise control in icy or otherwise dangerous conditions
  • Accept you’re late – if you leave late, you’re going to be late. Don’t try to push yourself to “make up time”. It’s better to apologize for being late than to have an accident.

Remember, we want all drivers to get home after every trip. Driving a safe and legal speed will help make sure you get there.

The Utah DOT has a great video and article about stopping distances for cars and semi-trucks. Imagine how great it would be if all drivers had this knowledge in mind on the road and respected truck drivers’ need for additional space to slow down and stop.

Stopping distance for speed - Utah DOT

(Photo source: Utah DOT)

The World’s First Speeding Ticket


In 1896 Walter Arnold was spotted by a constable hurtling through the streets of Paddock Wood, Kent, at four times the legal speed limit.

The limit at the time was 2mph. You could have walked faster. But in early 1896, the law said you could only go 2mph, and you had to have a chap walking in front waving a red flag to alert the nervous of your approach. But the crazed boy racer sped through the town at 8mph, with no flag-bearer sprinting in front

The astonished police constable mounted his pushbike and a five-mile chase ensued (presumably, bicycles were slower too). Arnold was caught and sent before the beak, where he was fined a shilling.


Posted by intd on February 3, 2016 |