You may have noticed during your travels that some highways and interstates have a separate speed limit for commercial vehicles and large trucks – while the speed limit for cars may be 65, for example, the speed limit for trucks may be 55. This is called differential speed limiting. But are differential speed limits safer than a uniform speed limit for all vehicles on the road? And does one type of speed limit system reduce the number of overall truck crashes?
Virginia as a backdrop for differential speed limit research:
Virginia had a differentiated speed limit for commercial trucks in the late 80s and early 90s. However, in 1994, the state changed back to a universal speed limit for all cars and trucks after conducting several studies on the effectiveness of slower truck speed limits. Similar studies have been conducted around the country with varying results. Generally, studies show that differentiated speed limits do not significantly affect the number of serious car and truck collisions – though some studies have found that they increase the frequency of some types of accidents (for example, a car slamming into the rear of a slow-moving truck) while decreasing the frequency of other types of accidents (for example, a truck rear-ending the car in front of it).
Nicholas Garber, University of Virginia professor of civil engineering, spearheaded much of this research in his 1991 comparison of the differentiated speed limit in Virginia and the uniform speed limit – a study that lead a number of states to rethink their speed limit laws.
Virginia truck accident attorney
A frightening number of truck accidents are caused by speed (or speed is a factor) whether or not the trucker is driving on a road with differential speed limits for commercial vehicles. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may wish to speak to a VA truck accident attorney about your case and find out if you may be able to collect compensation.