How Fast Can Commercial Trucks Safely Travel on Highways?
Ryan Bradley | April 5, 2023 | Truck Accident
Commercial trucking is a major industry in Missouri and across the United States. Commercial trucks are the backbone of many economies because they ensure that goods are transported efficiently from one destination to another. However, the sheer size and weight of these vehicles can cause severe truck accidents on the road.
When it comes to the safe operation of commercial trucks, complying with speed limits is vital.
Missouri State Laws and Regulations for Commercial Truck Speed Limits
Missouri has specific laws and regulations that control the speed limits for commercial trucks. Per the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), commercial trucks must adhere to the following speed limits:
- Rural interstates and freeways: 70 MPH
- Urban interstates, expressways, and freeways: 60 MPH
- Highways: 60 MPH, unless otherwise posted
Commercial speed limits apply to all trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds and trucks towing a trailer or another vehicle. Truck drivers who fail to comply with speed limits risk administrative penalties, fines, and potential accidents.
Federal Speed Laws for Commercial Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the executive agency responsible for regulating commercial trucks and their drivers. While the FMCSA does not directly set speed limits, it does enforce federal regulations that affect truck speeds, such as the hours of service rules.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also plays a role in truck safety by setting vehicle performance and equipment standards, such as speed limiters.
You can contact the Department of Transportation and report violations whenever trucks engage in unsafe driving, including speeding.
Consequences of Speeding for Commercial Trucks
Speeding is already dangerous for any vehicle, and the risks increase for commercial truck drivers due to the size and weight of their loads. The consequences of speeding for commercial trucks include:
Increased Stopping Distance
The heavier the vehicle, the longer it takes to come to a complete stop. Speeding makes it more difficult for truck drivers to react to sudden changes in traffic conditions or avoid obstacles on the road. This challenge can lead to severe crashes and collisions.
Reduced Vehicle Stability
When large vehicles travel at high speeds, they become prone to rollovers and jackknifing and may lose total control. Although passenger cars are designed to be aerodynamic and stable, commercial trucks must often carry heavy and uneven loads, making these vehicles far less stable.
When trucks are carrying cargo, their stability worsens, and reckless speeding can become a recipe for disaster.
The impact in a traffic accident directly relates to the vehicle’s speed. In other words, the faster a commercial truck travels on a roadway, the harder the impact will be in a crash. Higher speeds can increase the likelihood of serious injury, property damage, and even death.
Injuries Resulting from Speeding Commercial Trucks
When trucks fail to comply with speed restrictions, they put themselves and others at risk of bodily injury. Some of the injuries that can result from commercial truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
- Broken bones and fractures
- Lacerations and contusions
In many cases, the injuries from a commercial truck crash can be life-altering, requiring extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care.
Slower Speeds Save Lives
When it comes to commercial trucking, Missouri is a major hub that serves millions of people in the midwest and beyond. Across the state, trucks must never operate at more than 70 MPH. In most cases, they must remain under the 60 MPH threshold.
Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm For Help Today
For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.
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