Jason Stephens | May 16, 2022 | Truck Accidents
Anyone who has traveled on a highway knows that the size and weight of a commercial truck moving at high speeds can be alarming. Instinct tells most drivers to keep a safe distance from a fast-moving truck. But just how fast is too fast?
State laws differ when it comes to the speed limits that dictate how fast commercial trucks can travel. Even within states, rules are complex, and speed limits differ between highways. Here’s what you should know about safe speeds for commercial trucks on Texas highways.
How Do Texas Highways Balance Speed and Safety?
Speed limits in Texas pose a particular problem due to the state’s size. Large expanses of rural areas mean that it can take 10 to 13 hours to make the drive across the state.
Most drivers are eager to keep a fast speed while moving through the unending Texas countryside, and commercial truckers, in particular, are financially motivated to make good time.
Speed limits in Texas vary greatly. Legal language in state laws makes the issue even more complicated. The Texas transportation code identifies maximum speed as simply what the driver deems “reasonable and prudent.”
Whether a truck is traveling at a safe speed or not often depends on which section of highway they’re traveling on and environmental conditions like weather and traffic. If a car accident does occur, all these factors are taken into consideration.
Texas Abolished Truck Speed Restrictions
Texas speed limits are set with the understanding that commercial trucking industries need to move goods across the country efficiently. In many areas of Texas, speed limits are high compared to other states.
For years, Texas had speed limit restrictions for commercial trucks and nighttime driving. However, these limitations were abolished in 2011. Now, posted speed limits apply equally to all vehicles on the roadways at all times of day or night.
Texas state law lists the maximum state speed limit as 70 mph, but there are plenty of exceptions to this. The Texas Transportation Commission can raise the speed limit in specific areas as long as engineering studies can prove that a speed increase is safe.
Many sections of Texas highways allow vehicles to travel at speeds of 75 mph, and in some areas, the speed limit is set to 80 or 85 mph.
Texas Highways Allow Record-Breaking Speeds
Texas made national headlines back in 2016 for setting the country’s highest speed limit — 85 mph. This record-breaking speed limit applies to just part of Highway 130. The change was intended to help alleviate the severe congestion drivers face while trying to travel between San Antonio and Austin.
The 85 mph speed limit applies only to a 41-mile section of Highway 130. There are no limitations for commercial vehicles, so commercial truckers are free to keep up with the 85 mph hour speeds.
The speed increase didn’t come without safety considerations. The Texas Department of Transportation claims to have built the road specifically to maintain these high speeds. The rural area and the flat, straight layout are meant to reduce the likelihood of accidents and dangerous driving conditions.
How Do You Stay Safe on Texas Highways?
Varying speed limits on Texas highways mean that the best way for commercial truckers and other drivers to avoid a speeding ticket or dangerous accident is to stay vigilant.
Texas roadways should always have the speed limit clearly marked. Since this can change frequently, all drivers should stay alert and adjust their speed as necessary.
If you’ve been involved in a commercial trucking accident on a Texas highway, promptly speaking with a Texas truck accident attorney is the best way to protect yourself. Legal representation is the best way to ensure that an unsafe truck driver is held responsible for any injuries, damages, or expenses caused by an accident.
Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth Truck Accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107